Taly Reich, an associate professor of marketing at Yale University, and the other researchers within the study conducted nine experimental studies. There were 5,400 North American participants altogether. They had to read about a man or woman experiencing a humor flop.
The participants read about the man or woman attempting yet failing “to crack jokes all night” while on a first date when their partner didn’t seem fond of the witticisms.
Participants mainly rated those people as funnier, more likable and more able when they were described as women instead of men.
If the jokes were described as having gone down well, there was no difference in the men’s and women’s ratings.
Men were considered less attentive than women if their jokes didn’t go over well on the first date, which indicated the fall of “men’s likability and perceptions of competence,” the researchers said.
Evidence also concluded that intention was a factor.
Participants believed women attempting humour was seen as a way to connect with people. On the other hand, men cracking jokes seemed like a way to appear better.
In conversation with PsyPost, Reich noted that women “tread lightly” with their jokes because their errors “are more damning than the same mistakes made by men.”
Reich and her colleagues also found that the effects of jokes used “to enhance” appearances are found in the dating sphere and the work field.
Men’s humour fails in the office are judged more firmly than women’s, but the results “aren’t hard set gender differences.”
It has to do with others’ perspectives as to why the mistake happened.
Reich further noted that she and researchers “only looked at jokes that simply weren’t funny, not necessarily jokes that veered into the territory of being inappropriate or offensive.”
So, what is one of the ways someone can be given a pass for a bad joke? By communicating that it was “an honest attempt to connect.”
Well, it’s safe to say that honesty will be beneficial in the long run with any situation!