Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Expectations About Therapy
Howard E. A. Tinsley
Client expectations about counseling and psychotherapy are widely believed to influence the therapy process and outcome. Theorists from disparate theoretical persuasions have included expectations as a central construct in their theories. Research on the common factors that account for much of the success of psychotherapy confirms the influence of client expectations. Oswald Kulpe and Edward B. Titchener formulated the concept of an expectation as a cognitively mediated preparatory set or disposition to behave in a particular manner in a given situation. Narziss Ach named this disposition a “determining tendency,” thereby emphasizing the effects of expectations on perception and behavior. By definition, therefore, expectations influence perceptual and judgmental processes, learning, and behavior. Jerome Bruner, Leo J. Postman, and Harry Helson elaborated the role of expectations in influencing behavior. Bruner and Postman theorized that the process of perception begins with an expectation or hypothesis. Helson viewed expectations as critical determinants of people's ...