Controversial Humor Appreciation and Acceptability in the Intergroup Context
Graaf, J.A. de
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This study investigated the effect of intergroup context on the appreciation of controversial humor and the acceptability of controversial humor. Differences in humor appreciation and acceptability exist between people, especially for controversial humor. Social identity theory and self-categorization theory explain that people like in-group members more than out-group members and conform more to in-group members than to out-group members. This was taken as a base for a new possible explanation for controversial humor appreciation and acceptability. Participants were distributed into groups based on a minimal group paradigm. Next, they read a text, containing controversial humor, that was either said to be written by an in-group member or by an out-group member. The text was afterwards rated on appreciation and acceptability. It was found that the text was rated as more acceptable when it was said to be written by an in-group member than when it was said to be written by an out-group member. No difference was found between groups for appreciation. So, controversial humor is not seen as more appreciated when it comes from an in-group member in comparison to when it comes from an out-group member.