Changing even one of these expectancy variables may lead to a different expectation. What happens next is that we are surprised. Prescriptive expectations, on the other hand, are based upon "beliefs about what behaviors should be performed" and "what is needed and desired" Houser, It is considered a theory of communication processesand more specifically a theory of discourse and interaction.
Communicator reward valence determines how the behavior is evaluated. This theory assumes that humans can assess and interpret the relationship and liking between themselves and their conversational partner, and then make a decision whether or not to violate the expectations of the other person.
A common example is one member of an opposite-sex friendship demanding a romantic relationship of the other. While there are direct verbal responses when expectations are violated in established relationships.
Particular personal space is expected from the people whom they interact with according to the relationship they have with them.
Needs for personal space and affiliation[ edit ] Expectancy violations theory builds upon a number of communication axioms.