The effect of disparagement humor on the acceptability of prejudice

Andrés Mendiburo-Seguel, Thomas E. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Two studies tested the hypothesis that disparagement humor increases the acceptability of prejudice against groups that occupy a position in society of “normative ambiguity”; prejudice against them is shifting from being completely acceptable to being completely unacceptable. In Study 1 we found that residents of Santiago, Chile perceive the group, gay men, as occupying this position of normative ambiguity. In contrast, they perceive prejudice against politicians as completely acceptable. Supporting our hypothesis, Study 2 showed that participants viewed an prejudice against gay men as more acceptable after reading jokes disparaging gay men in comparison to serious disparaging comments or no disparagement. Jokes disparaging politicians, however, did not make participants view prejudice against them as more acceptable compared to serious disparaging comments or no disparagement. Study 2 also revealed that jokes disparaging gay men increased the acceptability of prejudice against other normative ambiguity groups not targeted by the humor.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Disparagement humor
  • Normative window
  • Political humor
  • Prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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