Espes 9 (1):33-44 (2020)

Recipients always perceive texts in a successive and linear way. Often, the recipient’s perception of the text only lasts until the text has fulfilled the expectations the recipient has of it. Being well aware of this, authors build texts based on their goals, aims, or preferences that either meaningfully fulfill the expectations of the recipient - according to the authors’ own knowledge, estimation, or presumptions - or, on the contrary, more or less intentionally violate these expectations. While the fulfillment of expectations results in a certain “comforting” impression on recipients, its violation causes an arousal in them. In this sense, violation of expectations does not only have a negative effect, but it can also have a communicative value. It can be argued that a) the author incorporates stimuli into the text that lead to the violation of the recipient’s expectations and does so with a communicatively functional - also artistic and aesthetic - kind of intent and b) an arousal is a consequence of violating the recipient’s expectations; then if an author’s artistic or aesthetic intention lies in a series of violations of the recipient’s expectations, this can provoke an aesthetic experience which will be caused - among other things - by the arousals themselves induced by the relevant violations.
Keywords arousal   duration   expectancy violation   text  perception
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Reprint years 2019, 2020
DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3633804
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