Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Shana Levin

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© 2012 Franccesca Kazerooni

Abstract

The effects of knowing or not knowing the satirical nature of a piece of humor were examined and compared to the effects of disparaging humor. One hundred and twenty-six heterosexual undergraduate students (male: n = 43; female: n = 83) were randomly assigned a satirical or an offensive comic about gay men. Some of those who read the satirical piece were told of the satirical intentions of the author. Some of the predicted hypotheses were partially supported. Low SDO participants found the satirical comic, regardless of whether the author’s satirical intentions were explicitly told or not, less humorous and more offensive than high SDO participants. On the other hand, high SDO participants found the disparaging comic to be more humorous and less offensive than low SDO participants. The implications of these findings as well as the difficulties with measuring the effects of satire are addressed.

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