Expressed anger can thus quickly enter into the bad and vast realm of over-the-line aggression. Evolutionary theory predicts competition in nature yet altruistic and cooperative behaviour appears to reduce the ability to compete in order to help others compete better. On sin versus sickness: a theory of perceived responsibility and social motivation. A., and Ford, T. E. (2013). (2019). Soc. Well, Super Asymmetry dosn’t make sense. This evolutionary puzzle is usually explained by kin selection where close relatives perform altruistic and cooperative acts to help each other and by reciprocity theory (i.e. A violation can take the form of a threat to a person’s physical well-being, identity, or cultural, communicative, lingu… COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Similarly, we know little about whether and how the sweet spot for humor may be influenced by social power. However, there is a theory called supersymmetry, which is a very popular extension of … According to the Benign Violation Theory (BVT), something is perceived as humorous when it hits the “sweet spot,” where there is not only a violation, but where the violation is also perceived as benign. A methodological implication is the need to consider appropriate levels of analysis (Yammarino and Dansereau, 2008). This study demonstrates the importance of addressing multiple social perspectives and power differences in humor research. Benign violations reside between two outer areas which the majority can agree on. We will now place these factors in the broader context, by highlighting three ways in which culture may influence the sweet spot of humor. Among the areas which we thus suggest may encompass benign violations, we find the sweet spots described more or less explicitly in relevant theoretical models. 19, 135–141. Violated expectations can indeed be funny, as is acknowledged by incongruity theories of humor. For instance, Hemmasi et al. Finding humor in distant tragedies and close mishaps. LK and EN have contributed in all parts of the research process, including developing the conceptual framework, writing and revising the manuscript. The one form of distance that McGraw et al. View all doi: 10.1177/0956797612443831, McGraw, A. P., Williams, L. E., and Warren, C. (2014).  |  87, 138–157. Q. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. (2011). To the extent that amusement can be seen as an emotion, it is perhaps the emotion for which there is the strongest uncertainty as to what type of antecedents elicit it (McGraw et al., 2014; Martin and Ford, 2018). Antonakis and Atwater, 2002). Some of these solemn issues by definition involve power asymmetry, for instance leaders and subordinates operating in a formal hierarchical system, where anger, destructive leader behavior, and destructive subordinate behavior occur. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. As mentioned earlier, the important role of culture in influencing power asymmetry has to date been overlooked in studies that address the possible role of social power in BVT (Knegtmans et al., 2018). By this, we mean that the individualized or dyadic level of analysis may be particularly relevant in the border zone, and group-level analysis more relevant with increasing levels of severity (be it good or bad). According to Magee and Smith (2013), this in turn may have several cognitive and emotional consequences for how the other person is perceived. Passivity and silence are often required of many, as in the rise of the Nazi regime (Lewin, 1943) or with the #MeToo. Some models clearly establish a sweet spot, whereas others only indirectly imply its existence. All three elements are relevant to the model’s predictions about the role of psychological distance in humor. J. Consum. Second, we argue that the BVT needs to acknowledge possible power asymmetries between the two parties, and how asymmetries might influence the social distance between the joke-teller and joke-listener, as well as between each of these and the joke. Aktas, M., Gelfand, M. J., and Hanges, P. J. Manag. You focus on the forest when you're in charge of the trees: power priming and abstract information processing. 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. 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. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00123, Kim, H. S., and Plester, B. (2007). Moreover, they did not discuss the case of asymmetric power, or possible consequences of power differences between a joke-teller and joke-listener. (2006). The other being the unequivocal bad, in humor the harmful where only the violation remains. (eds.) Those below may however perceive the same as a beginning avalanche. J. Information asymmetry extends to non-economic behavior. Again, the challenge would be to find the sweet spot that overlaps for the joke-teller and joke-listener. This is in contrast to any intentionally dark uses of humor (cf. In line with the aims of this research topic, we specifically address how this “sweet spot” may be influenced by social distance. Power Asymmetry - Fairclough In many instances of spoken discourse, there is a degree of power asymmetry between speakers. Eatough, E. M., Chang, C.-H., Miloslavic, S. A., and Johnson, R. E. (2011). In the following, we only provide selected examples illustrating either of these perspectives. Another way to put it—the impropriety threshold (for when a violation is no longer perceived as benign) is higher for the high-position joke-teller (cf. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1118373109, Plester, B. Harmony and distress: humor, culture, and psychological well-being in south Korean organizations. Humor 26, 277–293. We have argued that there may exist a systematic tendency explaining certain cases of mismatch between parties, with a potential for transgressions. One limitation to empirical studies of the BVT is that they have not addressed all forms of psychological distance to an equal extent. Gandhi (1940) emphasized just barely breaking the (oppressive) law, without hurting others, and while telling the truth. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.90.4.578, Spector, P. E., and Fox, S. (2010). This study examines how perceptions of power use and prevailing relationship quality in dyadic relationships characterized by substantial power asymmetry affect behavioral and operational outcomes. An explicit sweet spot can be found in the dual threshold model of anger in organizations (Geddes and Callister, 2007), which directly corresponds to the basic notion in BVT. Proc. A theory developed to answer both questions is the Benign Violation Theory (BVT) (McGraw and Warren, 2010; McGraw et al., 2012, 2014; Warren and McGraw, 2016). Gandhi, M. (1940). How does this influence whether something is perceived as a benign violation, and funny, in a situation where a joke-teller tells a joke to a joke-listener? Plester, B. Plester, 2016) aimed beyond the sweet spot, deliberately hurting the joke-listener, such as in power play, conflicts, ostracism, or bullying. The effects of time perspective and level of construal on social distance. Daily transactional and transformational leadership and daily employee engagement. This principle is perhaps reflected in the frequent practice of making jokes about people from a neighboring country. Even though all four forms of distance are mentioned in the BVT literature, the main focus seems to be on temporal and geographical distance (e.g., McGraw et al., 2012, 2014). Acad. (2009). eCollection 2020 Feb. From reciprocity to unconditional altruism through signalling benefits. doi: 10.1504/IJMDM.2003.002488, Salmivalli, C. (2010). Note that odd number locations are sensors on the left hemisphere … Leadersh. (2016). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Psychol. 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. Soc. The important point is that power differences would always increase the social distance as perceived by the high-power individual even more. Crossing the line: boundaries of workplace humour and fun. 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. A notable similarity to our line of reasoning is that Geddes and Callister (2007) argued that culture may influence where the shared thresholds are set, in their case through an implicit agreement for each organization. 2016. Liberman, N., Trope, Y., and Stephan, E. (2007). Perhaps they modify their emotions for organizational survival as they typically do, suppressing negative emotions and exaggerating positive emotions (Glasø et al., 2006), including laughing at the rich man’s joke. 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. doi: 10.1177/0022022115606802, Antonakis, J., and Atwater, L. (2002). 23, 1215–1223. Front. 1998 Jun 11;393(6685):573-7. doi: 10.1038/31225. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2007.03.001, Piff, P. K., Stancato, D. M., Côté, S., Mendoza-Denton, R., and Keltner, D. (2012). They specifically address “boundary areas” of humor (e.g., Plester, 2016). Manag. In particle physics, "supersymmetry" is a proposed type of space-time symmetry that relates two basic classes of elementary particles: bosons, which have an integer-valued spin, and fermions, which have a half-integer spin. Even though humor is a universal phenomenon, there are also cultural differences. Rev. Clipboard, Search History, and several other advanced features are temporarily unavailable. Relational theory Relational theory of power refers to one’s status in their interpersonal relationships. Keywords: doi: 10.1126/science.1197754, Glasø, L., Ekerholt, K., Barman, S., and Einarsen, S. (2006). That is, behavior which if present could be either benign or malign. 10:1380. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01380. Geddes and Callister, 2007). As private firms have b First, the stimulus must represent a violation which is contrary to expectations and threatens the person’s view of what the world “ought” to be. Personal. Sci. The closeness of the relationship between the two parties is important. When something is perceived as psychologically distant, people tend to represent them more abstractly (Trope and Liberman, 2010). Importantly, the theory is not only concerned about what makes something funny, but also about what makes something not funny. A state in which differences in status exist between individuals and groups of individuals within an organizational hierarchy and these differences result in differential ability to take action or cause action to be taken. Gender-related jokes in the workplace: sexual humor or sexual harassment?1. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2009.00414.x, Stephan, E., Liberman, N., and Trope, Y. J. Manag. doi: 10.1037/a0021887, PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar, Einarsen, S., Aasland, M. S., and Skogstad, A. The previous articles in this series were 1) Basic Design Principles; 2) How Our Minds React To What We See; 3) The Proximity Principle and 4) Similarity Principle in the Gestalt Theory. Leadersh. For instance, Swedes among themselves joking about Norwegians and vice versa, and Americans joking about Canadians. The role of social context in the interpretation of sexist humor. whether something is physically near or far away; thirdly, hypotheticality, i.e. Note that we limit our discussion to cases in which humor is used with the intention of amusing others, rather than for other communicative purposes (cf. Philos Compass 11, 338–350. 10, 243–268. This may in turn lead to differences in perception. A joke-teller may attempt both to split a crowd, hit the sweet spot with someone, while victimizing others (cf. The Relational and Structural Power of the EU in Competition Policy: Addressing Asymmetry Hikaru YOSHIZAWA EM GEM Doctoral Fellow at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) Abstract Although there is a wide consensus among academics and practitioners that EU competition Examples used by McGraw et al. Received: 29 March 2019; Accepted: 28 May 2019; Published: 19 June 2019. These are in line with Olin’s (2016) suggestion to focus on the social aspects of humor in understanding when incongruent events are perceived as humorous and when they are not. Examples would include (but not be limited to) white lies, courtesy, and cursing. Do you come from a position of power, be it formal or informal?