Research Repository

Sojourner expectations: Are they met and does it matter if they’re not?

Geeraert, Nicolas and Demes, Kali A and Ward, Colleen (2021) 'Sojourner expectations: Are they met and does it matter if they’re not?' International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 84. pp. 27-40. ISSN 0147-1767

1-s2.0-S0147176721000857-main.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This research examines the association between cross-cultural travelers’ well-being and the discrepancy between expected and experienced adaptation, in a longitudinal study of intercultural exchange students (N = 1762; Mage = 17 years; 70 % female). Specifically, two competing hypotheses were tested. Whereas the accuracy hypothesis suggests that unmet expectations lead to poorer outcomes, the directional hypothesis proposes that the outcome of unmet expectations will depend on whether expectations are overmet or undermet. Both sojourners’ adaptation expectations (pre-travel) and adaptation experiences (during the sojourn) were measured alongside general well-being. Controlling for baseline, well-being during the sojourn was regressed on the direction (undermet or overmet) and the magnitude (extent of discrepancy) of the adaptation expectation-experience discrepancies. These analyses were conducted across time (at entry or 5 months into the sojourn), different types of adaptation (psychological and sociocultural adaptation), and different measures of well-being (stress and satisfaction with life). Across analyses, results indicate that the direction of mismatch appears to matter little for small mismatches. However, for larger mismatches a positive effect emerged for sojourner well-being when the experience was better than expected, but a negative effect when the experience was worse than expected. Overall, the results support a directional hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sojourners; Adaptation; Well-being; Expectation; Expectation – experience discrepancy; Longitudinal
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 12:00
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 12:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item