Lame Joke = Social Outcast

Dish out a bad one and expect derision, harsh remarks and perhaps a blow. According to Washington State University Applied Linguist and Assistant Professor Nancy Bell in research on failed humor,

“The predominant verbal reaction to failed humor in our study was oriented exclusively toward attacking the speaker,” Bell said. “These were basically attacks intended to result in the social exclusion or humiliation of the speaker – punctuated on occasion with profanity, a nasty glare or even a solid punch to the arm.”

This behavior was noted by those that knew the errant jokester well,

Bell said it’s essentially because – unlike people you work with or know only casually – family and close friends know they’re the ones who are stuck with you.

So those that facilitate multi-day courses beware; familiarity may bring contempt and workplace violence. To test try this on the last day of a long course: There were two peanuts walking down the street, and one was assaulted! I’m here to help.

H/T: Improbable Research

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