The Influence of Disparaging Humor on Perceptions of Discrimination
Hansen, Jeremy C.
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An experiment was conducted to examine the influence of racially disparaging humor on perceptions of discrimination. Sixty-seven White students from Western Michigan University listened to a tape recording of either 12 jokes or statements that contained either disparaging or neutral content. Participants then read 9 vignettes that described ambiguous interactions that could or could not be interpreted as discriminatory. Overall, the data did not fully support the hypothesis that disparaging humor will create an environment that fosters tolerance for discrimination. The data does suggest, however, that perceptions of discrimination rely on what people prototypically believe is going to happen.