Unfunny jokes made by a man cause more serious harm to his image than a woman who jokes unsuccessfully - especially in the office.
In human societies, humor fulfills an extremely important social function, contributing to education and the maintenance of connections between people. A joke allows you to break the ice when meeting strangers, find common topics and start a full-fledged conversation.
But if it turns out to be not too funny, the effect may be just the opposite. And if women are still forgiven for unsuccessful jokes, on the part of a man they are perceived much worse, creating a negative image among others. This is the conclusion reached by the authors of a new article published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Psychologists at Yale University led by Taly Reich conducted a series of nine experiments that involved a total of 5,400 volunteers. The participants read a short story about the first date, during which a woman or a man joked successfully or unsuccessfully, after which they answered questions about what image of this character they had.
It turned out that if the jokes were successful, their narrator was perceived positively regardless of gender. If the jokes were unfunny, then this had little effect on the woman's image, but the man was assessed as inattentive, awkward and not too smart.
According to scientists, the difference arises due to the fact that jokes from a woman look like a means of socialization, but from a man - as a way to present yourself in the best possible light. Consequently, mistakes seem to be less forgivable. Therefore, for example, in an office work environment, unsuccessful jokes cause more damage to the image of a man than in a face-to-face meeting.