Social Exchange Violation Theory

1279 Words6 Pages
Social norms create the expectations and boundaries for social interactions. When a social situation or interaction occurs in which a person’s expectation is violated, the individual may respond in a multitude of ways. This paper examines my personal experience when I intentionally violate a social norm, and provides an analysis of the violated expectancy through four concepts deriving form expectancy violation theory. In this paper I discuss the experience in which I violated someone’s expectation. I apply the concepts of violation valence, communicator reward valence, violation expectedness, and violation importance from expectation violation theory to the violation. And finally, I will reflect on the personal experience and my reaction to…show more content…
Burgoon offers the definition of communicator reward valence as “the sum of the positive and negative attributes that the person brings to the encounter plus the potential he or she has to reward or punish in the future” (Griffin, 2008, p. 91). Essentially, a person will evaluate the individual violating the social norm and determine what positive and negative attributes were conveyed in the encounter as well as the potential to reward or punish in the future. This concept applies to the experience I had breaking a social norm, because the other individual’s perception of me as a person is based on the positive and negative attributes that she assigned to me when I exhibited an unexpected behavior. Due to the fact that my unexpected behavior was a bit ambiguous, meaning there was no obvious reason to me moving closer to her, she was forced to rely on social context to determine what was happening. Ultimately, she viewed my behavior negatively and did not see a benefit to being around me; this resulted in her ending the conversation abruptly and walking away from the…show more content…
When breaking a social norm, or even behaving in a way that goes against what is expected, the relationship between the people involved may be impacted. In the experience I had breaking a social norm, there was no preexisting relationship that could have been impacted. Nevertheless, a relationship was briefly built and my unexpected behavior had a drastic impact on the new relationship. The lack of relationship prior to this experience results in her only judging me based on my intrusion of personal space. If this person were to see me again they most likely would recall the previous encounter we had and perhaps anticipate a similar unexpected
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