Dec 6, 2010


By: Rebecca Irvine

Here is another writing tip taken from my Comm class lectures. Disconfirmation is a form of behavior where one refuses to acknowledge another person. Taken from the word 'disconfirm,' which means to prove to be invalid, this type of behavior cruely suggests that another person is so unimportant that he or she does not deserve to be recognized in any fashion.

Disconfirmation-like behavior is frequently utilized in classic literature (such as Pride and Prejudiced), in plays (such as The Glass Menagerie), and especially films (such as 12 Angry Men).

So, when might disconfirmation be used in writing? There are a number of instances it might come in handy. There is the obvious use of disconfirmation when a character is angry at another--this is especially typical of immature characters and can be employed in both a serious and humorous manner. But more importantly, disconfirmation behavior can be be used to mislead your readers. For example, Mr. Darcy exhibited these rude behaviors during the Meryton ball, leading everyone to believe he thought himself better than them. In reality, his behavior was due to shyness in the presence of strangers.

Hopefully, disconfirmation can be another tool to broaden the behavior of your favorite characters and make them more diverse and life-like.


  1. Hmmm based on your description I think I must be immature since I often employ the distance method of being angry. It's that or hit someone I figured ignoring them is better, ha. Good post. I like learning new stuff I can use in my writing.

  2. Great information, Rebecca. Thanks!

  3. More to think about. Thank you for the information.


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