""In general we get not what we deserve, but what we expect." —Gordon Livingston, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

Expectation is a belief about the future.


Expectation is based on what you believe to be a likely outcome. This in turn is based on beliefs that form your model of the world, attitudes, prejudices, context, (more?), etc.

Expectation can be created entirely through bullshit focused on any of the factors above, by itself, but more effective in combination.

Priming might be able to cause a sort of expectation, but this needs to be tested.

Classes of Expectation


While sometimes correct, expectation created by any authority comes down to 'it will happen because I say it will.'


It wouldn't surprise me if it happened. (Could congruency used in this sense set up context?)


It's happened before! It may happen again! See: consistency.


Sex Roles

Where sex roles are defined well enough, the expectations of those sex roles will play a part on someone's cognition of both another person and themselves. For example, in some western countries, men — by gender role stereotype — are expected to handle pain better than women. This influences the perception of pain for a male individual in a western country.

Self-Esteem & Confidence

The self-esteem and confidence of a person is an expectation which will influence perception.


In any case where someone is uncertain of the established expectation (as with sex roles) a bullshit explanation can be used to generate expectation and influence norms. (People in your class of personality like candy canes more than the average person.)

See Also


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Categories: belief psychology