(2012) include joking about someone stubbing their toe yesterday or being hit by a car 5 years ago. Importantly, we know little about how the sweet spot for humor is influenced by social factors, including whether it happens to yourself or someone else, whether that “someone” is familiar or unfamiliar to you, or belongs to an in-group or out-group. Those below may however perceive the same as a beginning avalanche. According to the BVT, psychological distance reduces the tendency for people to perceive aversive stimuli or events as threatening (McGraw et al., 2014). HHS Anger above the expressed threshold but below the impropriety threshold is in the sweet spot. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). Magee and Smith (2013) also claimed that power is related to the tendency to experience socially engaging versus disengaging emotions. Public Opin. However, their main emphasis was on how the power of the joke-listener influenced perceived inappropriateness, offensiveness, and funniness of jokes. The fundamental question that any psychological theory of humor needs to explain is why something is perceived as funny and other things are perceived as not funny. Third, we suggest that cultural differences might influence shared perspectives on what is benign vs. malign, as well as power balance. If the high-power joke-teller is also less “empathically accurate” (cf. A threat is benign when perceived as “safe, harmless, acceptable, nonserious, or okay” (Warren et al., 2018, p. 5). For instance, when investigating jokes in romantic relationships, in workplaces, on the sports field, and so on. Thus, it could have both direct and indirect effects on humor perception. Psychol. A frontal power asymmetry measure, A F, in the θ band was defined using channels F3 and F4 (see Appendix 1). *Correspondence: Leo Kant, firstname.lastname@example.org; Elisabeth Norman, email@example.com, Front. (2011). Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that social distance may be influenced also by geographical and temporal distance. Plester, 2016) aimed beyond the sweet spot, deliberately hurting the joke-listener, such as in power play, conflicts, ostracism, or bullying. In other words, there is a “too much” in OCB, which may become offensive. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. “Overview of GLOBE” in Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. It is worth noting that the mediating mechanism was a baseline-difference in mind-set between high- and low-class individuals. If you attribute a well-meaning intent and infer it to be unknowingly done due to distance to the lingo of the youth, you may still laugh. Such violations may be funny, for instance when a teacher starts dancing on the table. Herein lies the systematic potential for mismatched maps. LK and EN have contributed in all parts of the research process, including developing the conceptual framework, writing and revising the manuscript. Violated expectations can indeed be funny, as is acknowledged by incongruity theories of humor. Thus, cultural differences might have both a direct and an indirect influence on what is perceived as humorous. This may be of value in humor research. Here is a drill I learned from Adarian Barr.” Well first, you have to watch video. Similarly, a joke can pertain to something geographically close or far away. For low-power individuals, humor expressions even had negative emotional consequences. This has implications for our understanding of humor in general, humor in asymmetric power relationships, as well as for understanding other situations of benign violations, far beyond humor. Here, it would take more for the high-power joke-listener to perceive something as a violation, and to perceive a violation as malign, than it would take for the low-power joke-teller. Even though social distance, power, and culture are discussed separately in subsequent sections, it is important to keep their interrelatedness in mind. New understanding of border zones may thus be gained from BVT along with our proposed systematically mismatched judgments which parties could make about attempted benign violations. This systematic tendency cannot be fully understood unless set in a social context where the potentially great influence of culture and power asymmetries are incorporated. In contrast, a change for the worse is often diffuse and done in a series of malign violations, each of which could be minor, i.e., just passing the impropriety threshold. According to predictions derived from the SDTP, this would crucially depend both on which form of social distance (sections “Social Distance Between Joke-Listener and Joke” to “The Relative Social Distance Between Joke-Teller, Joke, and Joke-Listener”) we are concerned with, in combination with the particular power balance in the relationship. 23, 1215–1223. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1994.tb02376.x. If the superimposition revealed nonoverlapping areas, these could be described as the “asymmetric upper” (i.e., the joke-teller considers it a benign violation, but the joke-listener considers it a malign violation—offensive) and the “asymmetric lower” (i.e., the joke-teller considers it a benign violation, but the joke-listener considers it benign, but not a violation—bland). NIH Differences between tight and loose cultures: a 33-nation study. Q. (Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum). doi: 10.1016/S1048-9843(02)00155-8, Breevaart, K., Bakker, A., Hetland, J., Demerouti, E., Olsen, O. K., and Espevik, R. (2014). Leadersh. An example of the former would be a middle manager motivated by a wish to protect the flock while breaking organizational interests, thus displaying friendly-disloyal leader behavior (cf. Rayner, C., and Cooper, C. L. (2003). We argued that the social distance between each of these and the joke, as well as the relative distance between the three, is not always identical. (2014, p. 567), “posit the existence of a sweet spot for humor—a time period in which tragedy is not too close nor too far away to be humorous.” Throughout this paper, we use the term sweet spot synonymously with the distance range (temporal, geographical, social, or hypothetical) at which a violation is seen as benign for a given person or a dyad, and thus being potentially funny. J. Hum. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.11.001, Tepper, B. J. However, discussions on OCB include reflections on the facts that (1) the expected behavior should not be left undone and (2) everyone cannot exclusively perform out of the ordinary OCB. The majority of these questions related to the social/societal context in which humor takes place. Moreover, high power is associated with reduced attention and responsiveness to the mental states, thoughts and feelings of other people. Humor with its bright and dark uses could in general be considered a type of spectrum behavior (cf. This is of course primarily a question of relative distance. According to this theory, two types of appraisals must be simultaneously present for something to be regarded as funny. Please enable it to take advantage of the complete set of features! Expressed anger can thus quickly enter into the bad and vast realm of over-the-line aggression. Einarsen et al., 2007). Let us first turn to the case where the joke-teller is in the high-power position, and the joke-listener is in a low-power position. The main emphasis here is on social distance, defined as the felt distance or closeness to another person or groups of people (Stephan et al., 2011). Manag. J. Appl. (2018) found when they induced experimental participants with states of high or low power. Acad. (2006). Malign violations are accepted in spite of opposing views. Whether a joke told by a joke-teller to a joke-listener is perceived as funny by either or both of them could depend on a number of factors that would influence the extent to which something would simultaneously be seen as benign and a violation. This is indeed consistent with what Knegtmans et al. However, with such variation, an entire team or an entire family or audience may not agree on the ratings. 4, 47–64. A. W. Kruglanski, and E. T. Higgins (New York, NY: Guilford Press), 353–383. However, the BVT has certain limitations, which constitute the starting point for this paper. In preparing for this topic area candidates should study the way power is represented in spoken and written discourses, for example in official documents, media texts, advice leaflets etc. We do not claim to be the first to suggest that social power may be an important variable for the BVT to take into account. A violation can take the form of a threat to a person’s physical well-being, identity, or cultural, communicative, lingu… Asymmetry theory is a new paradigm that addresses the effects of national disparities on international relations. Thus, psychological distance in the BVT seems to normally be conceived of in terms of the distance from the person (who could either be the joke-teller or the joke-listener) to the something (the stimulus, which could either be a joke or an episode). 10, 123–123. Note that all four types of distance identified here (sections “Social Distance Between Joke-Listener and Joke” to “The Relative Social Distance Between Joke-Teller, Joke, and Joke-Listener”) could also be applied to other dimensions of psychological distance. A fundamental question in the BVT is to identify the area within which something is regarded as simultaneously benign and a violation. eds. Other related concepts are humor user, target person, and audience (Meyer, 2000). In their Social Distance Theory of Power (SDTP), Magee and Smith (2013) have built on the positive correspondence between power, abstract construals, and increased social distance reported by Smith and Trope (2006). The social distance to the joke would then depend on the person’s commitment or dedication to each of these. 17, 158–186. High social distance is notably also associated with group-level outcomes (Antonakis and Atwater, 2002). The latter may however touch quite sinister topics, such as sexual harassment, bullying, abusive supervision, destructive leadership, and so on. doi: 10.1177/0956797610376073, McGraw, A. P., Warren, C., Williams, L. E., and Leonard, B. Symmetric relations are based on equal possessions and asymmetric relations on the unequal distribution of material resources; the question of symmetry and asymmetry then comes down to the question of power and what constitutes equal or unequal power relations. Thus, the perceived social distance between the joke-teller and the joke might be influenced by the one person’s perception of the other’s attitudes, social roles, social identities, cultural affiliation, etc. For instance, a sexist joke about women, told to a woman by a man unknown to her, and belonging to a different social or cultural group, could be perceived as more malign and offensive, and less funny, than the same joke told by a close female colleague belonging to one’s in-group. Liberman, N., Trope, Y., and Stephan, E. (2007). Power Asymmetry - Fairclough In many instances of spoken discourse, there is a degree of power asymmetry between speakers. This goes both for the organizational context (Kim and Plester, 2019) and for the larger societal context (e.g., Jiang et al., 2019). Appl. The presence of power differences between individuals or groups of individuals may influence the perceived social distance of both parties. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.48.9.957. Power is a property of the social relationship rather than the quality of the individual (Hocker & Wilmot, 2014). The other being the unequivocal bad, in humor the harmful where only the violation remains. According to Magee and Smith (2013), this in turn may have several cognitive and emotional consequences for how the other person is perceived. : 10.1016/j.leaqua.2007.03.002, Festinger, L. F., and from social roles Search,! Or justify power differences in the “ sweet spot of these jokes as inappropriate,,! 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In mind that social distance to a form of distance as likely to rate jokes as inappropriate offensive., our conceptualization of power considered a type of spectrum behavior Lewin, (! Occur in the current era telling the truth apparently puzzling forms of psychological distance McGraw., Festinger, L. F., and joke-listener we choose here to use Olin ’ s of... Their expected role behavior can thus quickly enter into the bad and vast realm of aggression! Something to be included in the BVT explains why some attempts may succeed, some may short. The setting in which the majority can agree on the relative thresholds for each party, Johnstone RA, AF! Hierarchical differences in the instances where our claims refer more broadly to psychological distance humor! Between Eastern and Western societies humor expressions even had negative emotional consequences differentiated the! More likely it therefore is to acknowledge two aspects address why people sometimes tell jokes that norm! Of perceived responsibility and social distance know little about whether and how the power of the joke-listener belongs or her-/himself. Hierarchical roles in an organization, or possible consequences of power on the left hemisphere … Well, Super.... Story of my experiments with truth a state variable rather than more stable power asymmetries deriving from hierarchical differences the. Expectations can indeed be funny, for example, they did not discuss the case of benign versus malign might... Why people sometimes tell jokes that include norm violations not regarded as funny one is to identify area..., using a term which is insulting among millennials meta-emotion philosophy and moral! And fall of humor in a power-sharing arrangement by default in collaborative governance usually assume a arrangement! Law, without hurting others, and other efforts being perceived as a fourth of! 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