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1. Averbeck, J. M. (2010). Irony and language expectancy theory: Evaluations of expectancy violation outcomes. Communication Studies, 61, 356-372. doi: 10.1080/10510971003776147

Averbeck (2010) utilized language expectancy theory to study the intention behind ironic and literal messages in terms of persuasiveness and expectedness. 84 males and 114 female undergraduate students enrolled in communication courses participated in this study. Using a 2X2 scale, one of four conditions was randomly assigned to each participant: ironic compliment, ironic criticism, literal criticism, and literal compliment. They were instructed to view the scenarios from the perspective of a close friend and complete the relational closeness scale regarding that friend. The independent variables were language and message, while the dependent variables were expectedness, behavioral intentions, importance, valence, and attribution. A MANOVA was computed to analyze the hypotheses. The results showed that ironic messages are more unexpected and negative compared to literal ones, criticism showed greater effect on behavioral intentions than compliments, literal and ironic criticisms were more effective than the ironic compliment, and the literal compliment was least effective.

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2. Wright, C. N., & Roloff, M. E. (2015). You should just know why I’m upset: Expectancy violation theory and the influence of mind reading expectations (MRE) on responses to relational problems. Communication Research Reports, 32, 10-19. doi: 10.1080/08824096.2014.989969

Wright and Roloff (2015) studied the relationship between mind reading expectations and problematic interactions using the expectancy violation theory. The study consisted of 33 males along with 73 females in romantic relationships; there was an average age of 20. They were all randomly chosen to explain differet scenarios where the significant other made them feel anger, depression, or disappointment. They did not realize their partners were feeling this way and had these emotions towards them. A six-point scale measured their mind reading expectations and mediation analysis that tested their hypotheses. These results showed a positive relationship between MRE and becoming combative, giving the silent treatment to their partner when they failed to recognize the emotional consequence of their behavior.


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