FRIENDLY OR UNFRIENDLY PERSUASION: The Effects of Violations of Expectations by Males and Females


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Expectancy theory suggests that people develop normative expectations about appropriateness of communication behavior that differ for males and females. Support was found for an interaction hypothesis predicting that males would be expected to use more verbally aggressive persuasive message strategies and would negatively violate expectations and be less persuasive when they deviated from such strategies. Moreover, females are expected to be less verbally aggressive and use more prosocial message strategies and are penalized for deviations from such an expected strategy. Manipulation checks indicated that people have clear differences in expected strategy use by males and females and that neither the psychological sex role nor biological sex of receivers alters those expectations. Results are discussed in terms of similarity to prior language research, as an extension of expectancy theory and as added knowledge about the effects of specific compliance‐gaining message strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-294
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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