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Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Published by the Volume 25 Communication, Speech and Theatre 2012/2013 Association of North Dakota RESEARCH FORUM The Role Communication Plays in Effective Pandemic Preparedness Stuart Schneider & Pamela Kalbfleisch A New Horizon for a Classic Perspective: Facebook and Expectancy Violation Theory Eric Fife, C. Leigh Nelson, & Kristin Zhang The Role of Cyber and Face-to-Face Verbal Bullying on Adolescent Victims Laura C. Farrell New Leader, New Path: BP’s Redemption Through a Post-Crisis Shift in Rhetorical Strategies Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion and Spill Sarah J. Nelson & Jennifer L. Reierson TEACHING FORUM “Getting Out Of Your Bubble”: Incorporating Service Learning in the Intercultural Communication Course Robert S. Littlefield, Tara B. Freed, & Jessica M. Rick Knowing Your Audience: Demographic and Situational Topic Analysis Zachary Henning

JCSTAND Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Volume 25 2012/2013



The Role Communication Plays in Effective Pandemic Preparedness.............................................................................1 A New Horizon for a Classic Perspective: Facebook and Expectancy Violation Theory.............................................13 The Role of Cyber and Face-to-Face Verbal Bullying on Adolescent Victims..............................................................................25 New Leader, New Path: BP’s Redemption Through a Post-Crisis Shift in Rhetorical Strategies Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion and Spill......................................37 TEACHING FORUM “Getting Out Of Your Bubble”: Incorporating Service Learning in the Intercultural Communication Course..............................53 Knowing Your Audience: Demographic and Situational Topic Analysis.........................................................................61



Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Volume 25 2012/2013 Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota published by the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota

Editor’s Note

Editorial Board Jean Ostrom Blonigen Rodney Marshall Kristin Treinen North Dakota State University Eastern Illinois University Minnesota State University Mankato Amanda Brown Daniel McRoberts Adam Tyma University of Wisconsin--Stout Northcentral Technical College University of Nebraska Omaha Anna Carmon Jamie Meyer Rob Walsh Indiana University-Purdue University University of Mary Valley City State University Columbas

Eric Grabowsky Dickinson State University

Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Volume 25

Editor Shannon Borke VanHorn Valley City State University

Kathy Coyle Audra Myerchin US Department of Agriculture Rural Minot State University Development Julie Gowin Nancy Pearson University of Maryland Minot State University

Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Volume 25 2012/2013

Kim Weismann Williston State College Jonna Ziniel Valley City State University

Amy Aldridge Sanford Northeastern State University

This edition is the silver edition of the Journal of the Communication, Speech, and Theatre Associaiton of North Dakota, our 25th issue. Dr. Robert Littlefield, while president of the North Dakota Speech and Theatre Association (later known as CSTAND) was instrumental in starting this journal while president of the organization. Under his guide, and the many editors that have followed, this journal has grown and blossomed. The JCSTAND has evolved throughout these 25 years, carrying a rich tradition of scholarly work from academians in and out of North Dakota. From spiral-bound to elctronic, from local publication to a partnership with EBSCO, from authors and editorial boards made up purely of North Dakota scholars to scholars nation-wide and well-known in the field, this journal has evoked changes in many forms. I am fortunate and appreciative of all the work of the editors before me. Our 26th edition will be my last edition as editor. I look forward to reading the exciting endeavors in our discipline, as well as beginning to mentor a new editor. I encourage you to submit your research or teaching ideas to this next edition. Additionally, if you have a pieve of work completed purely by one of your undergraduate students, please send it also. Please see the call for more information. This 25th edition is an exciting and times blend of scholars and mentors, of graduate and undergraduate research teams. I am grateful for those who participated in bringing this edition to fruition. We had 14 submissions. Each submission underwent review via three peers. The acceptance rate is about 43%, and the articles employ a variety of topics and methodologies. Thank you to the Editorial Board members for their insightful reviews. To the reader: Enjoy!

JCSTAND Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Volume 25 2012/2013 EDITORIAL PURPOSE AND SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR VOLUME 26 (2013-2014) From its beginning, the Journal of the Communication, Speech, and Theatre Association of North Dakota has provided an outlet for a variety of scholarship, from traditional to action research. This volume continues to provide this mission. JCSTAND is a refereed scholarly journal designed to provide a forum for cross-disciplinary research. The editor welcomes a wide range of material that enhances secondary and higher education curriculum and material that is devoted to basic or applied research in human communication, mass communication, theatre arts, or performance studies. Submissions may be quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, or critical in nature. Volume 26 will consist of three sections: Research Forum, Teaching Forum, and Undergraduate Papers. The Research Forum is devoted to publishing original research in the investigation of research questions or hypotheses. Any methodology (quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, or critical) is welcome. The Teaching Forum features ideas and in-class activities related to communication and theatre education, forensic coaching, or dramatic arts. This section will also include action research papers on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The Undergraduate Papers will feature top papers selected to be presented at the CSTAND convention and other papers whose authors designate themselves as undergraduates. All manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). To facilitate the submission process, JCSTAND will accept manuscripts electronically. Three separate files should be attached: File 1 should include a title page including the author(s) contact information and credits, if necessary. File 2 should include a 100-word or less biographical statement about the author(s). File 3 should begin with an abstract of no more than 100 words, five key words for indexing, and the body of the text (including references). All references to the author(s) should be removed from the body of the text. All manuscripts should be received on or before MARCH 15, 2013, to be considered for Volume 26, which will be published in September 2013. E-mail manuscripts to: Shannon VanHorn, Editor, at [email protected] . For more information, contact the editor by telephone at 701.845.7471, or by email, at [email protected] .

JCSTAND Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Volume 25 2012/2013 COMMUNICATION, SPEECH & THEATRE ASSOCIATION OF NORTH DAKOTA FOUNDED 1951 RENAMED 2006 President Journal Editor Phyllis Kadrmas Shannon VanHorn Glenburn High School Valley City State University 1st Vice President Eric Grabowsky Dickinson State University

Newsletter Editor Jessica Pankow Kindred High School

2nd Vice President Bonnie Muehlberg Rolette High School

NCA/CSCA Representatives Eric Grabowsky Shannon VanHorn University of Mary Valley City State University

Secretary Historian Amber Aberle Gayle Hyde Mandan High School Fargo South High School Treasurer Immediate Past President Keith Anderson Paula Raschenberger Richardton, North Dakota Minot High School College Representative Jamie Meyer University of Mary

Webmaster Cynthia Kaldor Mayville, North Dakota

Class B Representative Terri Egan Enderlin High School

Convention Coordinator Sue Anderson Richardton-Taylor High School

Class A Representative El J. Arntson St. Mary High School COYRIGHT AND PERMISSIONS © Communication, Speech and Theatre Association of North Dakota, 2012/2013. Articles in the journal may be photocopied or quoted for use in teaching, research, or news reporting in accordance with the U.S. Copyright Law. It is the responsibility of the user, however, to properly acknowledge the journal, and to limit quotations to legitimate scholarly or critical needs. For all other purposes, including electronic reproduction and/or distribution, users must obtain permission from the editor. The JCSTAND is an EBSCO journal that is available in a database that includes 8,000 well-known periodicals.


Journal of the Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota Volume 25 2012/2013


The Role Communication Plays in Effective Pandemic Preparedness by Stuart Schneider & Pamela Kalbfleisch

Selected Awards


Service to the Profession................................................................................Beth Aufforth, Bowbells High School Scholar of the Year.........................................................................Margaret Marcusen, Dickinson State University Teacher of the Year......................................................................................Aaron Knodel, West Fargo High School Administrator of the Year.......................................................................................Mark Lindahl, North Star School Creative Artist of the Year......................................................................Lori Horvik, North Dakota State University Elected Awards Student Congress Coach of the Year..............................................................Gayle Hyde, Fargo South High School Class B Play Director of the Year.......................................Sue Anderson.Gae Zenter, Richrdton-Taylor High School Darcy Brandenburg, Central Cass High School Debate Coach in the Year...............................................................................Gayle Hyde, Fargo South High School Class A Speech Coach of the Year...................................................................Gayle Hyde, Fargo South High School Class A Play Director of the Year.........................................................................Rebecca Saari, Davies High School Class B Speech Coach of the Year................................................................................Erika Dyk, HazenHigh School Bonnie Muehlberg,Rollette High School Student Scholarship Recipients College................................................................................................Sarah Arnold, North Dakota State University James Cavo, North Dakota State University Shelby Wood, University of North Dakota Decker-Waldera/CSTAND................................................................Lindsay Tyrrell, Richardton-Taylor High School


Due to the increasing likelihood of a pandemic it has become crucial that healthcare centers be adequately prepared for the unique challenges a pandemic will present. Rural hospitals face additional challenges due to their remote nature and a lack of shared resources. Effective pandemic preparedness education is critical to ensure the fullest use of available resources including staff, equipment, medicine, facilities, and other supplies. This study investigated the extent to which hospital pandemic preparedness coordinators perceive there is adequate communication between themselves and the North Dakota State Health Department (NDSHD) and the North Dakota Healthcare Association (NDHA). The results of the study suggest these coordinators and their facilities may not be adequately prepared for the next pandemic. Key Words: Pandemic Preparedness, Risk Communication, Crisis Communication, Health Communication, Rural Health Care.

The complexities of the healthcare system and its diverse environments create greater difficulties in the implementation of pandemic preparedness than in most other industries. The identification of barriers to communication, and the implementation of effective strategies to remove those barriers, will increase the likelihood of successful pandemic preparedness while minimizing the impact of the next pandemic threat. This research examined pandemic flu preparedness of rural Critical Access Hospitals in North Dakota and the effectiveness of communication from the North Dakota State Health Department (NDSHD) and the North Dakota Healthcare Association (NDHA). In particular it examined the perception of the quantity and the quality of communication received with that desired by individuals responsible for preparing these hospitals for a potential pandemic. Rural North Dakota Critical Access Hospitals were chosen because of their isolation from larger, betterfunded communities, like size, and similarity of available resources. In most instances Rural North Dakota Critical Access Hospitals are located at a distance great enough from larger urban communities that, in the event of a pandemic, the likelihood of assistance from a larger community would be minimal or even

non-existent. History of Pandemics in the United States The level of preparedness within the healthcare system will determine the impact of the next pandemic. The worst pandemic in recent history, Spanish influenza, claimed approximately 500,000 lives in the United States between 1918 and 1919, and an estimated 20 million worldwide (United States Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2006). Early twentieth century American healthcare was unprepared for the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, a pathogen far more virulent than any experienced prior to 1918. Due to the significant number of individuals affected, as well as the substantial number of deaths, the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic has become the standard by which all other pandemics are measured (USDHHS, 2006). (See Figure 1.) The 1997 Avian influenza virus known as H5N1 has not yet caused significant loss of life. However the unique characteristics of H5N1 have given the scientific community increasing cause for concern (Sandman & Lanard, 2004). Migratory birds are primarily considered to blame for the transmission of the H5N1 virus. This factor alone greatly increases the potential of the H5N1 virus to travel great distances and infect large

Class A......................................................................................................Mary Armstrong, St. Mary’s High School Class B................................................................................................Sierra Canerot, Richarton-Taylor High School Spencer Cose Memorial..................................................................................Joshua Knutson, Milnor High School

Stuart Schneider (Ph. D., University of North Dakota), is the CEO / Administrator of the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford North Dakota. Pamela Kalbfleisch (Ph. D.., Micigan State University, Pamela Kalbfleisch is a Professor and Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives at the University of North Dakota. For more information about this articlr, contact the first author at [email protected] .



Figure 1: The History of Pandemics and Pandemic Scares.

numbers of people (Agwunobi, 2006). The World Health Organization notes that the H5N1 virus has been detected in domestic mammals such as cats and pigs, and that the virus survives longer in the body, making it more difficult overall to treat (Emergency Care Research Institute [ECRI], 2006). In comparison to other recent influenza viruses, the H5N1 pathogen has proven more lethal to its victim. H5N1 mortality rate is near 70%, and the virus infects not only individuals with compromised immune systems but also those who appear to be in good health. At this time the H5N1 virus has been known to spread only from birds to human beings. If the H5N1 virus mutates, as viruses often do, and becomes transmittable between humans, conservative estimates suggest there will be between 2 million and 7.4 million deaths associated with the Avian influenza virus (ECRI 2006; Sandman & Lanard, 2004). The Role of Communication in Crisis Preparation Although improvements continue to be made in the quality of healthcare as well as in pandemic preparedness, the potential for a pandemic affecting millions with significant loss of life still exists. Formerly, pandemic influenza episodes occurred naturally; however, in light of increased global terrorist activity,

the potential for intentional releases of engineered influenzas and the deliberate contamination of food stores create additional issues for health professionals to consider (Gensheimer, Meltzer, Postma & Strikas, 2003). Unlike other natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and similar catastrophes that allow resources from neighboring communities to be redistributed, pandemics affect many communities at the same time, crippling the flow of aid. Therefore, faced with the widespread impact of a pandemic, individual communities must be adequately prepared to deal with a pandemic alone, using local resources only (DiSanza & Legge, 2004). Communication and Change The primary task of those individuals charged with implementing pandemic preparedness is to communicate clearly, and in some instances to translate technical information to those not familiar with disciplinespecific terminology so that expectations are clearly understood (Al-Assaf & Schmele, 1993; LeTourneau, 2004a). Implementation in the health care industry cannot take place without effective communication between different disciplines within the organization. The coordinator must communicate in ways that

everyone involved in the preparedness process can understand (Al-Assaf & Schmele, 1993). When they are involved early in the process and information is shared throughout the transition period, employees will be more likely to support the change, target their efforts, and enlist the cooperation of other employees in the future (Cohen et al., 2004; LeTourneau, 2004a, 2004b). The hospital setting is highly complex, and in organizations such as hospitals that require a multidisciplinary approach to delivery of care, it is important to take an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving as well as program development to ensure all aspects of the plan are being addressed. Culture and Change The process of change in a healthcare setting, though intended for the long-term, is often seen by employees as a short-term moment of flux that ultimately will revert to the status quo. In many instances attempts to alter conditions within the organization do not address the cultural aspects associated with the change, nor do they address the ownership employees have in the status quo. Failure to address the cultural components of change often results in minimal sustainability of the change (Schein, 1999). Resistance to pandemic preparedness implementation may be intentional however it is far more likely that many of the behaviors within an organization have become habit and routine, part of the recipe for dealing with day to day interactions. In addition, these habits must have had some success in the past, or different behaviors would replace them (Deetz, Tracy, & Simpson, 1999). Communication and the Allocation of Resources in the Greater Community In the event of a pandemic emergency, each community will need coordinated communication to direct its efforts. Because pandemics require many agencies including local hospitals, physicians, emergency medical services, schools, faith-based and community organizations and law enforcement (Agwunobi, 2006) to respond simultaneously, the potential for misallocation of precious resources and human effort is greatly increased relative to other crises. Without a carefully planned method of communication, the allocation of employees and resources and the establishing of timelines for completing tasks and sharing of necessary information will likely not occur (Ulmer,

Sellnow, & Seeger, 2007). Sample The participants in the study were healthcare workers from Critical Access Hospitals that have been identified as pandemic preparedness coordinators. Out of a sample population of thirty-one hospitals, 64.5% coordinators responded to the survey (n=20). Of those who responded, 85% work full-time (n=17). Fifteen percent of respondents work part time in their positions (n=3) (figure 3). Of the survey participants, 35% came from nursing departments (n=7). Thirty percent were in administration (n=6). Ten percent worked in environmental services (n=2). Ten percent came from therapy departments (n=2). Five percent, or one participant, was a member of the medical staff. Ten percent of participants identified themselves as coming from “other” areas within the hospital (n=2). Of those responding, forty-five percent are senior managers (n=9). Twenty-five percent are mid-managers (n=5). Fifteen percent are first-line managers (n=3). An additional fifteen percent noted that they supervise no one (n=3). The final demographic item the instrument addressed was the level of communication training respondents have had. The instrument identified four options for the respondents to choose from. The options were: no training at all, little training (attended one seminar/workshop/course), some training (attended a few seminars/workshops/courses), or extensive training (attended a large number of seminars/ workshops/courses). Of the survey participants, zero percent received no training at all. Fifteen percent reported that they had received little training (n=3). Sixty-five had some training (n=13). Twenty percent had had extensive training in communication (n=4). Instrument When auditing communication it is necessary to address how well individuals communicate with others within their organization as well as those who are relevant in other organizations (Hargie & Tourish, 2004, p.108). A focused communication strategy will decrease the likelihood of chaos, improve the organizational climate, and increase the probability of organizational success (Hargie & Tourish, 2004). Since communication plays a central role, the identification of potential difficulties as well as the finding of solutions to communication problems deserves the



attention of management. Communication audits help to identify potential and existing problem areas within an organization that require intervention. Hargie and Tourish (2004) suggest that for any audit to be successful, three questions must be answered: “Is the right message getting through, do people feel informed or merely patronized, and has the communication program really addressed the issues which most concern people” (p.22)? Data Collection: A Modified International Communication Association Audit A modified International Communication Association Audit was used to identify the perceived amount of communication being received as well as the amount of communication perceived to be needed by the pandemic preparedness coordinators in Critical Access Hospitals in rural North Dakota. The ICA Audit was modified to increase the probability of an adequate response rate, and added the phrase “relating to pandemic preparedness” to clarify to respondents the criteria underlying the research questions. Additionally, thirteen short answer questions were removed in order to avoid survey fatigue. Eliminating the extensive written portion while retaining the Likert scales increased the ease with which the instrument was completed. Research Design North Dakota has thirty-nine rural hospitals, including thirty-one Critical Access Hospitals (CHAs). This research addressed communication issues relating to pandemic preparedness for these CAHs. In most instances, rural North Dakota CAHs are located far enough away from larger urban communities that in the event of a pandemic the amount of assistance

that could be reasonably expected from a larger community would be minimal. The scope of this study was limited to communications sent from the NDSHD and NDHA to those responsible for implementation of pandemic preparedness for their respective hospitals, as well as communications from the pandemic preparedness coordinators to the NDSHD and NDHA. Due to their unique governance, funding, and regulatory controls, Indian Health Services hospitals were excluded from the sample. An additional six hospitals in North Dakota are considered Non-Critical Access and have been excluded on those grounds. The remaining thirty-one rural entities are considered certified Critical Access Hospitals and constitute the population from which the sample was taken. (See Figure 2.) Results Six research questions were addressed via the survey instrument. All survey questions were designed to address the perceptions of pandemic preparedness coordinators with regards to communication flow between them and the North Dakota State Health Department (NDSHD) and North Dakota Healthcare Association (NDHA). All six sections and questions contained in the survey were designed to determine the ability to send as well as to receive information. The respondents replied to a Likert type scale ranging from 1 (very little) to 5 (very great), or 1 (never on time) to 5 (always on time). A paired sample t-test was used to test the difference in the mean of the perceived need of coordinators for information versus what they are currently receiving, using (df) = 19 for all responses to these questions.

Figure 2: Flow of Communication

The alpha was set at 0.05 and any question with a p< 0.025 was considered to be significant. Research Question 1 RQ1 addressed the perception of communication as it relates to job opportunity, performance, and decision making in the role of the pandemic preparedness coordinator. The data indicate a significant differencebetween the amount of information being received from the NDHA and NDSHD and the amount desired by the pandemic preparedness coordinators. These findings suggest a greater amount of information is perceived to be necessary for the success of the pandemic preparedness coordinator. (See Table 1.) Research Question 2 RQ2 addressed the current channels of communication between the NDHA, NDSHD, and the pandemic coordinators and whether they are transmitting adequate information. The data show a significant difference between the amount of information being received from the NDHA and NDSHD and the amount desired by the pandemic preparedness coordinators. These findings indicate a greater perceived need for internal publications (magazines, newsletters, etc) and notice boards. (See Table 2.) Research Question 3 RQ3 addressed the speed at which information is received from the NDHA and NDSDH. These data suggest there is no perceived difference in the rate at which information is received from the NDHA and NDDH. (See Table 3.) Research Question 4 RQ4 addressed the speed at which pandemic coordinators were able to send information individually to the NDHA and to the NDDH. Respondents found a similarity in the rate in which they were able to send information to the NDHA and NDDH. (See Table 4.) The data identify a significant relationship between the perceived rate of communication flow to the NDHA and NDSDH from pandemic preparedness coordinators and illustrate that there is no perceived difference in the rate of information sent to the NDHA and NDDH. Research Question 5 RQ5 addressed whether those responsible for the implementation of a pandemic preparedness plan are adequately informed of the important issues by the NDHA and NDSHD. The data indicate a significant

difference between the amount of information being received from the NDHA and NDSHD and the amount desired by pandemic preparedness coordinators. These findings suggest a greater amount of information is perceived to be necessary for pandemic preparedness coordinators to be successful. (See Table 5.) Research Question 6 RQ6 addresses the ability of those responsible for the implementation of a pandemic preparedness plan to send adequate information relating to important issues relating to pandemic preparedness to the NDHA and NDSHD. The data indicate a significant difference between the ability to send adequate information regarding financial resources needs to the NDHA and NDSHD and the amount desired by the pandemic preparedness coordinators. These findings report the perception that a greater amount of information needs to be sent to the NDHA and NDSHD on important issues relating to successful pandemic preparedness. (See Table 6.) Discussion Failed Communication: A Disaster in the Making This study clearly identifies a significant gap between the amount of information pandemic preparedness coordinators feel they need and what they believe they are receiving. One area of great concern is the possibility of a mistaken assumption by those who have devised such plans that careful development in itself brings about successful implementation. Indeed, the development of a comprehensive plan is essential. However if that plan is not effectively communicated and comprehensively implemented, dire complications will likely compound the negative effects of a health care disaster just as poor preparation on the part of civic and state bodies did during the recent natural disaster of 2005, Hurricane Katrina. Barriers to Communication This research identified a perceived deficiency in communications from the NDHA and the NDSDH sent to the CAHs pandemic preparedness coordinators. These perceived communication deficiencies suggest that the methods in use by the NDHA and the NDSDH to communicate pandemic preparedness information are inadequate and do not meet the perceived needs of those who are responsible for the implementation of these programs.

6 JCSTAND In addition these findings suggest a perception of insufficient information to successfully implement a pandemic preparedness program. The results identify what the coordinators see as areas where more information is needed. Also, they identify ineffective forms of communication that require the coordinator to seek information on their own or to make decisions based on what they perceive as insufficient information. It is assumed that neither option was the intention of the NDSDH or the NDHA when they developed their communication plans regarding pandemic preparedness. One possible cause of this perceived lack may be that coordinators simply do not grasp what it is they need to know. In other words, they perceive that the information they are receiving is insufficient to successfully implement a pandemic preparedness program when in reality the information they are receiving is adequate. In such an instance, the means by which the NDHA and NDSDH are using to communicate with CAHs coordinators remains ineffective, resulting in incomplete or confusing messages. Potential barriers to communication include the quality and quantity of resources available to each coordinator among these being sufficient time, funds for travel and ongoing training, necessary equipment, and so on. Another limitation may be found in the level of support and the importance placed on pandemic preparedness by those in governance such as the CEO of a medical facility or its oversight board. Effective pandemic preparedness requires the visible support and active role of upper level management. Without this support, there is little chance that coordinators will place a high priority on obtaining the information necessary for a successful response to large-scale health crises. Limitations The absence of research relating to rural healthcare communication has left a significant demographic group within rural communities vulnerable: older adults. The preceding statement is not meant to suggest that current rural providers provide lesser quality health care, are not as well educated, or do not have sufficient work experience, and so on, compared to providers in larger, more centrally located cities. Rather, study results strongly suggest that essential information required for these healthcare workers to fully utilize their skills, training, and resources may be

lacking. The ability to better understand and analyze this area of communication will improve the effectiveness of pandemic preparations, resulting in better delivery of healthcare in rural and urban areas overall. This is the first study addressing the effectiveness of communication and pandemic preparedness in the rural setting. There are limitations to the current study. This study did not account for demographic factors (e.g., gender, education level, age) that may influence the perceptions of pandemic preparedness coordinators. Moreover, this study did not attain as broad a census as proposed; rather, data from twenty of the thirty-one Critical Access Hospitals was analyzed. Solutions Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) have limited resources in funding, equipment, availability of staff, etc. Because these limited resources are regularly allocated to what is most urgent at any given moment, such as covering shifts or preparing for the yearly regulatory survey, CAHs personnel may be at greater risk of missing information vital in the long run for situations that include preparation for a pandemic. As noted in the discussion of Limitations for this research, the potential of daily activities necessary to the running of a rural hospital to negatively impact pandemic preparedness planning is high, and an overextension of staff and other resources may disrupt the implementation process. In order to address the perception identified in this study that more and better lines of communication are needed, a communication analysis addressing how the information is formulated, sent, and received is necessary. To gather this information it will be necessary to have input from those responsible for creating the communication as well as those who are the ultimate receivers of that information (Regents of the University of Minnesota, 2006). “Process mapping” may be employed to identify the point of difficulty in the communication link. Process mapping is a technique that identifies where a given process begins, and maps each step of the process through to its end (Ahoy, 1999). Identification of flaws in the communication system allows organizations to make necessary corrections to the communication model currently in use between pandemic preparedness coordinators and state agencies. The Need for Ongoing Research Existing research in this area has had an urban or

metropolitan focus and has not addressed the unique challenges of rural healthcare. Much health communication research has been done in the area of health messages such as smoking cessation, sexual abstinence, and healthy eating. However the matter of communication from state health organizations to rural hospitals and from those hospitals to state health organizations has been overlooked. Rural healthcare is unique and differs greatly from its urban healthcare counterpart. Rural healthcare functions within a small community and tends to have limited resources including a reduced financial budget, scaled down availability of staff, a lessened ability to receive support from other local entities and other factors. In times of crisis rural hospitals must rely much more heavily on themselves, unlike hospitals in larger urban areas which may have access to another facility across town, large equipment that may be acquired from local businesses or government entities, skilled individuals from other industries that can assist in a time of crisis, and so on. Due to these differences CAHs need to be well prepared and self reliant; it is crucial that these rural hospitals be able to deal with crises using their own resources. Additional study in this area of rural health communication is needed to address factors relating to communication of expectations, policies, proce-

JCSTAND 7 dures, and strategies in order to address pandemic preparedness in a way that is sensitive and appropriate to the unique conditions that exist in these rural communities. Conclusion This research identified a significant perceived need in pandemic preparedness coordinators for more information in order to be successful in their role. The disparity between the current level of received information and the amount of information perceived to be necessary is worthy of further study. The study found no perceived significant difference between state health organizations regarding the receiving or sending of information to the North Dakota State Department of Health and the North Dakota Healthcare Association, however findings support the notion that communication between these organizations and pandemic preparedness coordinators is not optimum and thus worthy of future study. Scientists worldwide following the spread of the H5N1 influenza virus no longer wonder if but when the next pathogen will make the jump from bird-tohuman to human-to-human transmission. Current projections of the cost in human lives in the next pandemic are staggering. We cannot afford to be unprepared.

References Agwunobi, J. (2006). United States Department of Health and Human Services. HHS pandemic influenza preparedness planning. Assistant Secretary for Health presentation at the North Dakota Pandemic Influenza Summit, Bismarck, ND, March 9, 2006. Ahoy, C. (1999). Process mapping. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from Facilities Planning & Management, Iowa State University Web site: Al-Assaf, A.F. & Schmele, J.A. (1993). The textbook of total quality in healthcare (pp. 91-101). Delray Beach, FL: St. Lucie Press. Cohen, D., McDaniel, R.R., Crabtree, B.F., Ruhe, M.C., Weyer, S.M., Tallia, A., et al. (2004, May-June). A prac tice change model for quality improvement in primary care practice. Journal of Healthcare Manage ment, 49, 155. Deetz, S.A., Tracy, S.J., & Simpson, J.L. (1999). Leading organizations through transition: Communication and cultural change (pp. 8-9). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. DiSanza, J., & Legge, N. (2004). Business and Professional Communication (2nd ed.) (p. 264). Boston: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon. Emergency Care Research Institute: Issues in continuing care risk management (2006, December). Special report: Preparing for Avian Flu, pg. 7-9. Gensheimer, K., Meltzer, M., Postema, A., & Strikas, R. (2003). Emerging Infectious Diseases. Influenza Pan demic Preparedness, 9(2).



Hargie, O., & Tourish, D. (2004). Handbook of Communication Audits for Organizations (p. 3). New York, New York: Rutledge. Juran, J.M., (1992). Juran on quality by design: the new steps for planning quality into goods and services (p. 3). New York: The Free Press. Kondra, A.Z., & Hinings, C.R., (1998, Winter). Organizational diversity and change in institutional theory. Orga nizational Studies, pp. 1-25. Retrieved from LeTourneau, B. (2004a). Managing physician resistance to change. Journal of healthcare management, 49(5), p. 286. LeTourneau, B. (2004b). Communicate for change. Journal of Healthcare Management, 49(6), p. 354. Regents of the University of Minnesota (2006). Secrets of process mapping. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Web site: Sandman, P.M., & Lanard, J. (2004, December). Pandemic Influenza Risk Communication: The Teachable Mo ment, pp. 1-38. Retrieved from Schein, E.H. (1999). The corporate culture: Survival guide (p. 115). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Ulmer, R., Sellnow, T., & Seeger, M. (2007). Effective crisis communication: Moving from crisis to opportunity (p. 7,108). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. United States Department of Health and Human Services (2006). Pandemics and Pandemic Scares in the 20th Century. Retrieved, from Table 1. Research Question 1: Measuring adequate communication. Question




Notice Boards

rn 2.450 ntr 3.450

Std. Deviation rn 1.191 ntr 1.234

Internal publications (magazines, newsletters, etc.)

rn 2.350 ntr 3.450

rn 1.424 ntr 1.317



Sig. (t-tailed)







rn = receive now ntr = need to receive

Table 3. Research Question 3: How quickly information is received by coordinators. df

Things that go wrong in my organization.

rn 2.550 ntr`3.400

Std. Deviation rn .945 ntr 1.142


-2.602 0.018

How decisions that affect my job are reached

rn 2.350 ntr 3.350

rn .988 ntr 1.268


-2.939 0.008

Professional development opportunities

rn 2.250 ntr 3.000

rn 1.293 ntr 1.451


-2.595 0.018

Specific problems faced by my organization

rn 2.400 ntr 3.200

rn 1.142 ntr 1.240


-2.491 0.022

Major management decisions

rn 2.500 ntr 3.400

rn 1.235 ntr 1.314


rn = receive now ntr = need to receive

Table 2. Research Question 2: Measuring channels of information.


Sig. (2 tailed)

-2.592 0.018




3.700 3.700

Std. Deviation .865 .801

df 19





Table 4. Research Question 4: How quickly information is sent by coordinators. Question



3.650 3.600

Std. Deviation .671 .681





Sig. (t-tailed) .330

10 JCSTAND Table 5. Research Question 5: Perceived amount of information received by coordinators. Question


Current financial resources relating to pandemic preparedness

rn 2.600 ntr 3.650

Std. Deviation rn .995 ntr 1.226

The structure of the organization relating to pandemic preparedness

rn 2.750 ntr 3.650

rn .910 ntr 1.137

The impact of everything that is happening relating to pandemic preparedness

rn 2.700 ntr 3.650

rn 1.129 ntr 1.137

df 19


Sig (t-tailed)









rn = receive now ntr = need to receive

Table 6. Research Question 6: Perceived amount of information that must be sent.



Perceived amount of information that must be sent

sn 2.050 nts 3.000

sn = send now nts = need to send

Std.Deviation sn 1.099 nts 1.451

df 19

t -3.567

Sig(t-tailed) .006


A New Horizon for a Classic Perspective: Facebook and Expectancy Violation Theory by Eric Fife, C. Leigh Nelson, & Kristin Zhang

Abstract An online survey of 236 respondents at a large southeastern university revealed that the tenets of Expectancy Violation Theory generally apply to Facebook use. Participants rated some scenarios occurring on Facebook as “more surprising” than others. Expectancy violations committed by more rewarding individuals were rated more positively in some scenarios. Moderate correlations between positive evaluations of expectancy violations and reductions of uncertainty were observed. Implications for the continued use of expectancy violation theory in Facebook scholarship are considered. Keywords: Expectancy Violation Theory, Facebook, Norms, Computer-Mediated Communication, Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites (SNS) continue to grow in popularity, and thus in their cultural importance. Though there are a number of social networking sites (see boyd & Ellison, 2008, for a discussion and listing of some common sites), the most popular is Facebook (, 2012). As of this writing, Facebook claimed over four hundred eighty million average daily users, which is remarkable growth for a company that started with only a few users on an Ivy League campus just eight years ago (About Facebook, 2012). Facebook also has altered the demographics of its participants by gradually adding new categories of members; indeed, one of the largest-growing groups on Facebook in recent years has been middleaged women (Sutter, 2009). Though Facebook may not be able to sustain this rapid growth, its current usage statistics suggest its relevance and, likely, ongoing importance for the formation, maintenance and dissolution of relationships – the province of study for interpersonal communication researchers. The current investigation examines interaction on Facebook from the classic interpersonal communication lens of Expectancy Violation Theory (EVT). Given the rapid growth of SNSs generally and Facebook specifically, it is understandable that scholars have begun to devote more attention to their study. Even with a dramatic increase in the last few years in the number of published studies related to SNSs (for

review, see boyd & Ellison, 2008), theoretical examination from an interpersonal lens remains relatively rare. Limited works involving some theories, including dialectics (Kim & Yun, 2008), privacy management (Mazer, Murphy, & Simonds, 2007) and even EVT (Fife, Nelson, & Bayles, 2009; McLaughlin & Vitak, 2011) have begun to apply “classic” interpersonal communication theory developed in face-to-face contexts to SNS scholarship, but to date such efforts have been limited. This paper begins by describing SNSs generally, and Facebook specifically. Next, the paper outlines EVT as an approach suited to research involving Facebook, and discusses the results of a research study designed to test the utility of EVT in this SNS environment. Further research possibilities involving Facebook and other potentially relevant interpersonal theories are considered. Social Networking Sites and Facebook boyd and Ellison (2008) posit a definition of SNSs as “web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (p. 211). They also differ from other sites in which people might post personal information because “people other than the person

Eric Fife (Ph.D, Purdue University) is an associate professor in the School of Communication Studies at James Madison University. C. Leigh Nelson (Ph. D., Purdue University) is an associate professor in the School of Communication Studies at James Madison University. Kristin Zhang gradu-

ated from James Madison University in 2009 with a BA in Communication Studies. For more information about this article, contact the first author at [email protected]

14 JCSTAND about whom the site is focused also contribute information to the site” (Walther, Van Der Heide, Kim, Westermain, & Tong, 2008, p. 29). Facebook, as noted above, is an increasingly popular SNS. Originally restricted to college students, the site has dramatically increased membership first by adding high school students and, several years ago, allowing anyone to join (Kornblum, 2007). Similar to other SNSs, Facebook allows users to create their own “profiles,” which generally include a photograph and whatever additional information someone wishes to add. Users group themselves into geographically based networks by affiliating with a particular area or university. Users add “friends” by sending and responding to “friend requests,” which can be accepted, rejected or ignored (those who send such requests are not informed if their requests are ignored). Users can exchange messages with others either through public “wall” postings, or by sending private messages. Users also can identify, or “tag” each other in photographs. Through manipulating privacy and usage features, users can control, at least to some degree, what kinds of events on Facebook appear in their and others’ “news feeds,” which provide highlights of events in one’s social networks. Some research has suggested that Facebook users have increased their privacy by taking advantage of recent technological changes (Dey, Jelveh, & Ross, 2012), while other research suggests that college-age users are generally familiar with the privacy features, even if they do not always incorporate them into their regular usage (Butler, McCann, & Thomas, 2011; Debatin, Lovejoy, Horn, & Hughes, 2009). Sometimes, it can take a negative event for adolescents to become concerned about privacy issues (Christofides, Muise, & Desmarais, 2012). Until fairly recently, academic research on Facebook had been somewhat limited, in part due to the relative newness of its enormous popularity. In the last few years, however, researchers have made important contributions to the understanding of that specific SNS. Research conducted from a uses and gratifications perspective has identified five reasons individuals report using Facebook: efficient communication, convenient communication, curiosity about others, popularity and relationship formation/reinforcement (Urista, Dong, & Day, 2009). Other research has iden-

JCSTAND 15 tified demographic characteristics of its users, including that they tend to have higher socio-economic status than users of competing SNSs (Hargittai, 2008). Researchers have even explored the academic use of Facebook, suggesting that faculty using the SNS may engender higher affective learning (Mazer, Murphy, & Simonds, 2007) and credibility (Mazer, Murphy, & Simonds, 2009), even encouraging students to see faculty as “a human being” (DiVerniero & Hosek, 2011, p. 437). For the purposes of this study, some of the most interesting and relevant Facebook research has begun to examine the generally positive psychological and communicative ramifications of Facebook usage. Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007) found that Facebook use could be positive for individuals with low self-esteem, enabling increased connections with “friends.” Valenzuela, Park, and Kee (2009) found that contrary to a stereotypical view of internet usage generally (and Facebook usage specifically), heavy users were not more socially isolated offline than were lighter users. Other scholars have argued that not all Facebook use is positive. Due to concerns associated with overuse of Facebook, scholars have developed a scale for “Facebook addiction,” (Andreassen, Torsheim, Brunborg, & Pallesen, 2012), while another study found that time spend on Facebook is negatively related to overall GPA (Junco, 2011). Self-presentation has also been a recent focus of Facebook scholarship, with scholars noting that users co-construct identities with “friends” on the SNS (Brandtzaeg, Luders, & Skjetne, 2010). Zywica and Danowski (2008) argued that “some people appear to use the site in an attempt to be increase their self-image and to feel more popular” (p. 23). Tufekci (2008) found that students using SNSs (including, but not limited to Facebook) did not seem overly concerned about others discovering information about themselves which they may have been better off keeping private, prompting him to suggest students “are not wading in these waters without any reflection, but they may also not have fully adjusted to the implications of self-presentation in online environments” (p. 35). Overall, the extant research on Facebook could best be described as relatively limited, but rapidly growing. To this point, however, research on Facebook and other social networking sites has been largely atheo-

retical – or, if such research does include theory, it tends to include theory developed specifically for computer-mediated communication or an occasional concept from psychology. The use of mainstream interpersonal communication theory, developed prior to most CMC and based on FTF relationships, is conspicuous by its absence. There are, of course, exceptions. Mazer, Murphy, and Simonds (2007) used privacy management theory as a theoretical basis for their discussion of faculty disclosure via Facebook, referenced above. Kim and Yun (2008) used relational dialectics as a way to frame their discussion of identity management issues on a Korean social network site, and McLaughlin and Vitak (2011) used expectancy violations theory in a limited way to consider norms on Facebook. Overall, however, Facebook scholarship specifically (and SNS scholarship more generally) could benefit from the inclusion of interpersonal communication theory developed in an FTF environment. Interpersonal Communication Theory and SNS To date, interpersonal communication theory developed through FTF research has been used in SNS scholarship only in very limited ways, as noted above. Unlike some other forms of CMC which might involve anonymity, SNSs often involve individuals who at least know each other offline – even if they are not close to those people. In one recent study, survey respondents reported a median of three “friends” in their social networking site whom they had not met face-to-face (Kujarth, 2011). It is difficult, as Tong, Van Der Heide, Langwell, and Walther (2008) suggest, to imagine that individuals might have a classically defined “friend” relationship with all of their Facebook “friends.” However, as they also point out, the term “friend” in Facebook “often reflects that individuals have some form of acquaintance that is based in offline interactions” (p. 537). boyd and Ellison point out that although people can use SNSs to make connections with people they have not met face to face, “that is often not the goal . . . . instead, they are primarily communicating with people who are already a part of their extended social network” (2008, p. 211). Beer (2008) argues that researchers should be more aware of the continuing connections between the SNS mediated environment and offline relationships. In fact, he underscores the reflexive nature of that relationship – as cultural and scholarly understandings

of the concept of Facebook “friends” are influenced by our preexisting definitions of friendship, so too should our conception of friendship be influenced by the continuing proliferation of SNS relationships (p. 520). Beer suggests that we consider not “online” and “offline relationships,” but simply relationships. CMC can play a substantial role in the origination, maintenance, and even dissolution of various forms of “traditional” relationships. A number of interpersonal theories would seem appropriate for use with this unique CMC medium. Some of them have already been employed, but to these researchers’ knowledge only two studies involving expectancy violation theory and Facebook have yet been published, even though other research (e.g., Liu, Drishnamurthy, Gummadi, & Mislove, 2011) has considered the concept of “expectations” more generally. Next, EVT is outlined, a rationale for its use as a theoretical approach to Facebook is considered, and preliminary qualitative scholarship involving this approach is described. Expectancy Violation Theory Originally described about thirty years ago (Burgoon & Jones, 1976), EVT initially had a very narrow scope. The theory was developed as a way of filling a void in the theoretical literature on the nature of and reaction to personal space violations. In particular, it stood out from among several other theoretical perspectives by suggesting that individuals regarded by an interactant as “rewarding” might actually engender more positive outcomes by breaking norms of proxemic behavior, instead of following them; as Burgoon and Hale (1988) suggested, “that there are circumstances under which violation of social norms and expectations may be a superior strategy to conformity” (p. 58). Early research (e.g., Burgoon, 1978; Burgoon & Jones, 1976) supported this particularly important aspect of the theory. Over time, the theory has broadened its scope considerably, including other aspects of nonverbal communication (e.g., Burgoon, Walther, & Baesler, 1992), as well as the nature of expectancy violation in close relationships (Afifi & Metts, 1998), but essentially retains its early character, with the expanded scope. Burgoon and Jones (1976) argued that individuals enter into an interaction with previously developed expectations regarding the other person’s behavior. Those expectations derive from two broad categories:

16 JCSTAND social norms and any previous knowledge of that person’s behavior. Lacking any existing relationships, individuals rely solely on social norms to form those expectations. Overall, norms are shaped by three factors: “characteristics of the interactants, the nature of the interaction itself, and features of the immediate physical environment” (Burgoon, 1978, p. 132). Each of these contributing factors is then broken down into additional areas, depending in part on the nature of the specific behaviors or interactional context for which norms exist. For example, “conversational distance norms are based on a combination of communicator characteristics (e.g., gender, age, personality, style), relational characteristics (e.g., degree of acquaintance, status inequality, liking, relational history) and contextual factors (e.g., environmental constraints, definition of the situation or task, communication functions being established)” (Burgoon & Hale, 1988, p. 60). Through considering these factors, individuals develop a range of acceptable behaviors. If an interactant behaves in a manner outside of the acceptable range, the other person in the conversation will note that behavior, and will thus be aroused. As Burgoon and Hale suggest, “the arousal change is posited to cause an alertness or orienting response that diverts attention away from the ostensive purpose of the interaction and focuses toward the source of the arousal – the initiator of the violation” (1988, p. 62). The interplay of a series of factors then influences the nature of an individual’s response to the violation. First, interactants consider the reward value or “rewardingness” of the other. Reward value is a combination of “pre-interactional” characteristics of other, including such qualities as status and physical attractiveness, and “derived” characteristics, including recognized qualities such as “having an amusing communication style or giving positive feedback” (Burgoon & Hale, 1988, p. 62). This determination of reward value can influence both the interpretation of the violation, for ambiguous behaviors, and an interactant’s reaction to that violation for more straightforward behaviors, such as a punch. These interpretations then lead to a “violation valence,” or the extent to which the violation overall is viewed as positive or negative, which leads to a response. The response need not be communicative – it could

instead be an internal reaction. Burgoon and Hale note “violations produce more pronounced effects than conformity . . . a positive violation produces more favorable consequences, and a negative violation more unfavorable ones, than adhering to the expected behavior patterns” (1988, p. 65). The basic premises of EVT have been confirmed in a number of studies, beginning with proxemics and expanding initially to include other forms of nonverbal communication. Burgoon and Hale (1988) successfully applied the theory to immediacy behaviors, while Burgoon, Walther and Baesler (1992) applied EVT to touch behaviors. Later expansions have extended the theory to include behaviors in close relationships (Afifi & Faulkner, 2000; Bachman & Guerrero, 2006; Bevan, 2003), instructional contexts (Mottet, Parker-Raley, Beebe, & Cunningham, 2007), swearing in a workplace setting (Johnson & Lewis, 2010), and even health campaigns (Campo, Cameron, Brossard, & Frazer, 2004). EVT has been studied in a computer-mediated context with a focus on “modeswitching,” examining violation of expectations in switching from a computer-mediated to face-to-face context (Ramirez & Wang, 2008). However, the theory has not been specifically studied in the context of SNSs, except in very limited ways as described below. EVT and Facebook Given the broad range of interpersonal and even mediated behaviors which have been studied through an EVT lens, EVT would appear to be a good fit for SNS scholarship. Though EVT originally was studied in FTF interactions, nothing about its current conceptualization or ongoing application necessitates an FTF context, a point which Parks and Floyd (1996) suggest is true of many interpersonal communication theories. EVT should be applicable to Facebook if aspects of that SNS and the relationships existing within that medium can be described through EVT terminology. The norms used to develop expectations are largely dependent on established and generally understood societal assumptions about a class of behaviors, allowing for variation based on one’s interactional experience with a specific individual. The primary question, then, for Facebook as a context for communication involves the extent to which its users have developed a series of normative expectations. Clearly, such expectations (beyond very basic FTF and CMC-

JCSTAND 17 based preexisting norms) could not exist in the very early days of the medium. Because Facebook is approximately eight years old, and has been widely used on college campuses for several years, it is reasonable to assume that some expectations for use may have developed. It is particularly appropriate to use a college student sample to study Facebook norms, because even with the changing demographics of the site, “Student life without Facebook is almost unthinkable” (Debatin, Lovejoy, Horn, & Hughes, 2009, p. 83). It has become apparent from Facebook-related scholarship not conducted through an EVT lens that some expectations may exist, across multiple aspects of that site. Hum et al (2011) found that profile pictures, for example, “tended to be inactive, poised, appropriate, and only included the subject” (p. 1826). Thus, profile pictures which did not fit those norms might violate expectations. Expectations may also have developed with respect to some Facebook interaction based on sex; Mansson and Myers (2011) found that women are both more likely to express affection, and perceive the expression of affection as “appropriate,” than are men (p. 155). Waters and Ackerman (2011) found that disclosure may be expected to differ based on the nature of the relationship on Facebook, with distant friends being a more likely disclosure target than close friends. Two recent studies (Fife, Nelson, & Bayles, 2009; McLaughlin & Vitak, 2011) attempted to uncover some specific expectations through focus group research. Fife, Nelson, and Bayles (2009) asked college student groups about “surprises” and negative behaviors on Facebook as a way of trying to identify preexisting expectations, and several such expectations were identified through a thematic analysis of focus group transcripts. These included not discussing stalking behaviors, not competing over number of friends, choosing an appropriate forum for messages and not tagging individuals in bad photographs. McLaughlin and Vitak (2011), in a similar study, identified some of the above behaviors as norms and added an expectation that one should generally accept friend requests from known requesters, as well as carefully consider privacy needs of friends. Given this tentative group of possible expectations, a reasonable next step would be to test the extent to which these expectations operate as EVT suggests they will – and thus providing early evidence for the utility of

the theory in this new context. The present study is designed to test specific predictions of EVT within the context of Facebook, using the previously identified norms referenced above. Research Question and Hypotheses The methodology is informed by one broad, overarching research question; namely, RQ: To what extent are the tenets and predictions of Expectancy Violation Theory relevant to communication on Facebook? This research question leads to several specific hypotheses. First, participants should again confirm that they do have expectations for communicating on Facebook. This is established by having them rate the extent to which they are “surprised” by four scenarios (altered slightly to provide a total of eight, as described below) designed to do precisely that. H1: Participants will describe more than an average amount of “surprise” with respect to the four scenarios. One of the key tenets of expectancy violation theory is that violations by more “rewarding” interactants will be perceived more positively than the same violations committed by less “rewarding” interactants. Thus, H2: Participants will rate violations more positively when performed by more rewarding interactants. Some EVT scholarship (i.e., Afifi & Metts,1998) has suggested an inverse relationship between violation valence and uncertainty; that is, as valence becomes more positive, uncertainty decreases. This presumed relationship suggests the following hypothesis: H3: There will be a positive relationship between violation valence and the reduction of uncertainty. Because the focus of the research study is a social networking site which may involve a wide disparity in degree of competence for its users, this self-reported competence may influence the nature of an individual’s Facebook-based expectations. It is possible that people who use Facebook a great deal are more competent and will have developed more fully formed expectations, and thus be more “surprised;” however, it is also possible that people who use Facebook more will have “seen it all” and be somewhat less surprised. Thus, the following hypothesis is proposed. H4: There will be a relationship between amount of Facebook usage and surprise.

18 JCSTAND Method Sample Two hundred and thirty six students (73 male; 163 female) in communication studies courses at a midsize Southeastern Liberal Arts university completed one of two online surveys. These students ranged in age from 18-40 and had an average age of 19.42 with a standard deviation of 1.95. There were 132 Freshmen (54.9%), 18 Sophomores (7.5%), 51 Juniors (21.2%), 33 Seniors (13.7%), and 2 Others (.8%). Students were recruited for participation by instructors of those classes, some of whom offered extra credit for their participation. Procedure and Operationalization Each survey presented four hypothetical scenarios involving what were presumably violations of expectations on Facebook, based on the norms which were generally established through the qualitative research projects described above (see appendix A for the complete scenarios). For one survey, scenarios were presented as violations committed by someone who would be of low or neutral reward value; for the other survey, the scenarios were slightly manipulated to alter the reward value of the transgressor. For two scenarios the reward value was altered by having the violator described as “very attractive;” in the other two scenarios, the reward value was altered by changing the presumed relationship with the participant from someone not well known to a significant other or best friend. In the first scenario, a person is tagged in an unattractive photo by someone hardly known; in the “more rewarding” scenario, the “tagger” is described as a best friend (hereafter referenced as “tagging rewarding” and “tagging nonrewarding”). The norm of being thoughtful about posting and tagging photos of others shown only in a positive light was referenced by both Fife, Nelson, and Bayles (2009) and McLauglin and Vitak (2011). In the second scenario, in line with a norm noted by McLaughlin and Vitak (2011), a person receives a friend request from someone he or she just met, while in the more rewarding scenario that individual is described as a very attractive member of the opposite sex (referred to as “friending rewarding” and “friending nonrewarding”). In the third scenario, a member of a group project discloses something personal and unwelcome related to a recent conflict on that respondent’s “wall,” thus publicly, while in the modified version the public

disclosure comes from the respondent’s significant other (referred to as “wall rewarding” and “wall nonrewarding”). This scenario represents an expectancy violation noted in the studies of Fife, Nelson, and Bayles (2009) and McLaughlin and Vitak (2011). Finally, the fourth scenario, suggested by the research of Fife, Nelson and Bayles, involves a person not well known to the respondent admitting to finding out information about that individual’s activities during the previous night very quickly. The more rewarding version of that scenario involves the same behaviors committed by an “attractive member of the opposite sex” (referenced as “stalking rewarding” and “stalking nonrewarding”). For each scenario, participants responded to the same items designed to assess their reaction, all in a Likert-type (Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree) format. Two questions assessed the “expectedness” of the violation (“This event would be expected” and “This event would surprise me,” which was reversecoded), three addressed the “valence” of the violation (“This behavior would make me feel better about the state of our relationship,” “This behavior would make me feel like he/she cares about me,” and “This event would be a behavior I did not like,” reverse-coded), and four questions addressed the impact of the violation on uncertainty (“This behavior would increase my ability to accurately predict his/her future behavior”, “This behavior would make me feel more confident about the state of our relationship,” “Following this behavior, I would become more able to predict his/ her attitudes,” and “Following this behavior, I would feel like I know him/her less than I thought,” reversecoded). All of the above questions were slightly modified from an EVT study by Afifi and Metts (1998). For both surveys, participants completed two items designed to assess how often they have used Facebook (“For approximately how many years have you been on Facebook” and “Approximately how many minutes per day do you use Facebook”). Finally, participants completed a series of demographic items, along with several Likert-type items, an open-ended item, and an additional scale which are not included in the present analysis. Results To test hypothesis 1 that participants will describe more than an average amount of “surprise” with respect to the four scenarios, a series of one-sample

t-tests were conducted for the combined “expectedness” questions with the value “3” (neutral) set as the point of comparison. One of those questions was reverse-coded, so that higher values mean that the behavior is more expected (and thus less surprising). This hypothesis was partially supported. For the first two scenarios (“tagging” and “friending”), in both the rewarding and nonrewarding conditions, average means suggested that those situations were actually significantly more expected than the neutral point (for “tagging rewarding” M = 3.74, SD=.82, t(140)=10.70, p