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“What else can you expect from a crappo?”

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I’m back at the BPS Research Digest today, with my second of three guest posts this week on recent social psychological research.

My second post is on a recent paper published by P.J. Henry, Sarah Butler, and Mark Brandt. In light of recent debates about whether or not certain group-based slurs are “more offensive” than others, the researchers decided to test one hypothesis about why some insults might seem worse than others — group status.

Over 250 participants read a story about “creative developers,” a group in a hypothetical workplace that either make very good money, have very good benefits, get three-day weekends, and are very important and influential (high status) or make very little money, have no benefits, have to work on the weekends, and are not important or influential at all (low status). The participants then imagined hearing someone in payroll derogate one of the Creative Developers for not understanding something, finishing up by saying, “What else can you expect from a Crappo?” Crappo, as the vignette explains, is a derogatory combination of the words “creative” and “poser.” As expected, participants who thought that Creative Developers were a low-status group rated the term “crappo” as significantly more offensive than those who thought that the Creative Developers were a high-status group.

For the rest of this post, head over to the BPS Research Digest!


Melanie Tannenbaum About the Author: Melanie Tannenbaum is a doctoral candidate in social psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received an M.A. in social psychology in 2011. Her research focuses on the science of persuasion & motivation regarding political, health-related, and environmental behavior. You can add her on Twitter or visit her personal webpage. Follow on Twitter @melanietbaum.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. rkipling 12:53 am 05/2/2014

    Interesting stuff. Unless Creative Developers is defined as janitorial staff, a low-status Creative Developer seems to be a non-squitter, but we can put that aside. I read the article. If these researchers do further work to determine the source of participants’ expectations, that would be interesting as well.

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