ERIC Number: ED284303
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May
Reference Count: 0
Nonverbal Expectancy Effects in the Political Media.
Corder, Lloyd E.
Expectancy effects--the unconscious shaping of receiver behavior by signalling sender expectations--while recognized in science, have not been documented extensively from a communication perspective, nor are nonverbal aspects of expectancy effects fully known. Expectancy is a function of three elements, the sender's predisposition (including stereotypes), reinforcement (including nonverbal rewards and punishments), and correspondence bias (where the sender assumes that the receiver's behavior confirms the sender's expectations). Expectancies can be observed in the following instances of media politics: (1) when voters project stereotypical idealizations of the candidates, which are fulfilled when the televised candidate generates nonverbal actions congruent with these expectations (e.g. the public desire or expectation of a folksy president is answered by Carter washing his socks in a motel room); (2) when politicians reinforce a preconception held by the public, (e.g., by acting on the belief that public opinion is more important than policy, thereby increasing the importance of the public opinion variable); or (3) when pollsters, by having an expectation of what a correct answer should be, word their questions or send nonverbal cues in ways that signal the proper response to questions. These examples show that nonverbal variables seem to have a significant impact on generating stereotypes (which results in a false disposition), and nonverbal variables also play a key role in the reinforcement step of expectancies. Appendixes include an outline of strategies for control of experimenter expectancy effects and procedures for generating experimenter expectancies. (JG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Expectancy Theory; Political Communication; Political Image; Poll (Influence); Television Role
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (78th, Syracuse, NY, May 18-21, 1987).