The Role of Expectation in Emotional Response (And Why It Matters For Your Business)

There’s a principle in music cognition that states –

“Violation in expectation leads to an emotional response.” – Leonard Meyer (Emotion & Meaning in Music)

Basically, researchers played a bunch of musical excerpts for individuals and found that when someone was surprised by something that occurred in the music, an emotion would be evoked.

Here’s the deal… That emotion can be good or bad.

A. Surprise and delight?

B. Or, shock and betrayal…

For this reason, I like to add that confirmation of expectation, can also lead to emotional responses of safety, reassurance, and validation of one’s own world view.

Why it matters –

When you do not set expectations, others may think anything is up for grabs…