Expectancy Violation Theory - Intimate in an Elevator - Not! Essay

2183 Words Feb 26th, 2011 9 Pages
Running head: INTIMATE ELEVATOR

Intimate in an Elevator – Not!
Intimate in an Elevator – Not! How often do you take an elevator to get to your destination? In looking at a typical week, I use elevators at a minimum thirty times. During each elevator ride, I adhere to a set of rules governing elevator etiquette. These rules, based on common sense, were not presented to me in written form, but were learned over time through communicating with others. Some of the more common elevator rules include waiting for passengers to exit prior to boarding, holding the door for someone who is just seconds away, not talking on cell phones, keeping personal information to yourself, and, as much as possible, allowing others around you
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Some of the factors that may influence a person’s expectancies include individual, relational, and contextual. When a person’s expectations are violated, EVT examines the types of arousal that occur. Arousal can be either cognitive, physical or both. After the arousal occurs, then the threat threshold must be determined prior to issuing a reaction. The violation is then evaluated on a valence. Violation valence requires making sense of a violation through interpretation and evaluation (Burgoon & Hale, 1988). The result of the violation ends in the communicator reward valence. This is either the reward or punishment and is dependent on the communicator and his or her value of the violation. In applying the Expectancy Violation Theory to the lunchtime elevator event with Ross, I will begin by taking a closer look at space relations with respect to proxemic zones and territories. When discussing the amount of space in an elevator, I can really only apply two of the proxemic zones, intimate and personal. A person’s intimate distance consists of a very close range, from zero to eighteen inches away from their body. For most people, this distance is reserved for family. When an elevator is crowded, it is a safe assumption that a person’s intimate space may be invaded. Most would not have an issue with this type of violation as everyone is in the same situation and there is a generalized

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