Swearing by Peers in the Work Setting: Expectancy Violation Valence, Perceptions of Message, and Perceptions of Speaker

Danette Ifert Johnson, Ithaca College


Swearing is a frequent language form in a number of contexts, including the work setting. This investigation extends research on expectancy violations theory as an explanation for how people perceive swearing by examining violation valence. Study 1 concludes that violation valence is positively related to perceptions of message appropriateness and effectiveness and to perceptions of the speaker. Study 2 replicates these findings using a national sample. These results provide support for the role of expectancy violations in swearing and show that swearing is not always perceived as negative in work settings. © 2012 Copyright Central States Communication Association.