A-Z Popular Blog Human Factors Search »
Related Guides
Extrinsic Motivation


Bucket List

6 Examples of Expectations

 , updated on
Expectations are things that individuals imagine, predict or assume will happen. This tends to influence a broad range of outcomes. As such, identifying, setting, managing and controlling expectations can improve your results. The following are illustrative examples.

Low Expectations

Generally speaking, it is easier to impress someone who has low expectations. For example, a movie in a series with many hardcore fans premieres on a Friday. Most of the hardcore fans are disappointed in the movie and give it mediocre reviews. A less enthusiastic audience sees the film on Saturday, having heard it's not that good. This audience is far more impressed with the film because the film exceeds relative low expectations. The ratings of the film begin to rise again.

High Expectations

A customer of a top rated, three star restaurant is expecting to be amazed by the experience. These high expectations mean that the customer can be easily disappointed. If the service, food and environment are sublime, expectations might be met but not exceeded.

Managing Expectations

Managing expectations is the process of communicating to influence the expectations of others. For example, a designer might consistently communicate to her manager that a project will take 10 days to complete. The manager is initially disappointed because they expected 5 days. However, the designer is successful in changing expectations to 10 days and then delivers in 8 days. In the end, management is satisfied as they perceive the project was delivered early.

Setting Expectations

Setting expectations is the process of communicating to others what you expect of them. For example, a manager informs a customer service representative that it is a major problem to take a passive aggressive tact with customers and that this behavior is not acceptable. This sets expectations with the representative that this will be interpreted as low performance. If the representative avoids this behavior she may expect a good performance review, if she finds that she is often projecting attitude towards customers she may not be surprised that her performance is viewed as low.

No Expectations

Some individuals seek to minimize or control their own expectations in order to improve their work results or quality of life. For example, if you go into a movie with no expectations, you may be more likely to judge it fairly and enjoy it for what it is. Likewise, imposing too many expectations on the people around you can interfere with personal relationships as you may be expecting people to be things they are not.

Heliotropic Effect

The heliotropic effect is a tendency for people to move towards the most positive image they have of themselves. This theory might indicate that having high expectations of those around you may improve their results. This can also make you highly likeable. The caveat is that you can't become disappointed in them when your high expectations aren't met. The heliotropic effect requires eternal optimism and faith in a person.
Overview: Expectations
Outcomes that individuals imagine, predict or assume will happen.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about motivation.
Attitude Change
Bucket List
Curiosity Drive
Employee Motivation
ERG Theory
Esprit De Corps
Expectancy Theory
Extrinsic Motivation
Flow Theory
Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic Reward
Locus Of Control
Peak Experiences
Silent Goal
Skin In The Game
Status Seeking
Work Motivation
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.


An overview of motivation.

Art For Art's Sake

An overview of art for art's sake.

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.

Employee Satisfaction

Common elements of employee satisfaction.

Skin In The Game

The definition of skin in the game with examples.

Employee Motivation

The definition of employee motivation with examples.

Achieved Status

The definition of achieved status with examples.


An overview of the ubermensch or superman.


The definition of angst with examples.

Discipline vs Motivation

A comparison of discipline and motivation.


An overview of influencing with a bunch of examples.

False Dilemma

The definition of false dilemma with examples.

Straw Man

The definition of straw man with examples.

Radical Chic

The definition of radical chic with examples.


The definition of civility with examples.

Rhetorical Device

The common types of rhetorical device.


An overview of influence with examples.


The definition of kairos with examples.

Work Expectations

An overview of work expectations with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map