Stereotype transmission and maintenance through interpersonal communication: The Irony Bias

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In interpersonal communication, stereotypes are predominantly transmitted through language. Linguistic bias theory presupposes that speakers systematically vary their language when communicating stereotype-consistent and stereotype-inconsistent information. We investigate whether these findings can be extended to verbal irony use. The irony bias posits that irony is more appropriate to communicate stereotype-inconsistent than stereotype-consistent information. Three experiments support this hypothesis by showing that irony is found more appropriate (Experiments 1-2) and used more often (Experiment 3) in stereotype-inconsistent than in stereotype-consistent situations. Furthermore, linguistic biases have important communicative consequences, because they implicitly serve to maintain stereotypic expectancies. Experiment 4 shows that irony shares this characteristic with other linguistic biases, in that irony—compared to literal language—leads to more external attribution. Taken together, these results indicate that stereotypic expectancies are subtly revealed and confirmed by verbal irony, and that verbal irony plays an important role in stereotype communication and maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-441
JournalCommunication Research
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

interpersonal communication
irony
stereotype
Linguistics
Communication
trend
Experiments
experiment
linguistics
Stereotypes
Interpersonal Communication
Irony
language
attribution
Experiment
communication

Cite this

@article{5fd2e5a847174f0f8383e5d6f226cfa3,
title = "Stereotype transmission and maintenance through interpersonal communication: The Irony Bias",
abstract = "In interpersonal communication, stereotypes are predominantly transmitted through language. Linguistic bias theory presupposes that speakers systematically vary their language when communicating stereotype-consistent and stereotype-inconsistent information. We investigate whether these findings can be extended to verbal irony use. The irony bias posits that irony is more appropriate to communicate stereotype-inconsistent than stereotype-consistent information. Three experiments support this hypothesis by showing that irony is found more appropriate (Experiments 1-2) and used more often (Experiment 3) in stereotype-inconsistent than in stereotype-consistent situations. Furthermore, linguistic biases have important communicative consequences, because they implicitly serve to maintain stereotypic expectancies. Experiment 4 shows that irony shares this characteristic with other linguistic biases, in that irony—compared to literal language—leads to more external attribution. Taken together, these results indicate that stereotypic expectancies are subtly revealed and confirmed by verbal irony, and that verbal irony plays an important role in stereotype communication and maintenance.",
author = "C.F. Burgers and C.J. Beukeboom",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1177/0093650214534975",
language = "English",
volume = "43",
pages = "414--441",
journal = "Communication Research",
issn = "0093-6502",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "3",

}

Stereotype transmission and maintenance through interpersonal communication: The Irony Bias. / Burgers, C.F.; Beukeboom, C.J.

In: Communication Research, Vol. 43, No. 3, 2016, p. 414-441.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stereotype transmission and maintenance through interpersonal communication: The Irony Bias

AU - Burgers, C.F.

AU - Beukeboom, C.J.

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - In interpersonal communication, stereotypes are predominantly transmitted through language. Linguistic bias theory presupposes that speakers systematically vary their language when communicating stereotype-consistent and stereotype-inconsistent information. We investigate whether these findings can be extended to verbal irony use. The irony bias posits that irony is more appropriate to communicate stereotype-inconsistent than stereotype-consistent information. Three experiments support this hypothesis by showing that irony is found more appropriate (Experiments 1-2) and used more often (Experiment 3) in stereotype-inconsistent than in stereotype-consistent situations. Furthermore, linguistic biases have important communicative consequences, because they implicitly serve to maintain stereotypic expectancies. Experiment 4 shows that irony shares this characteristic with other linguistic biases, in that irony—compared to literal language—leads to more external attribution. Taken together, these results indicate that stereotypic expectancies are subtly revealed and confirmed by verbal irony, and that verbal irony plays an important role in stereotype communication and maintenance.

AB - In interpersonal communication, stereotypes are predominantly transmitted through language. Linguistic bias theory presupposes that speakers systematically vary their language when communicating stereotype-consistent and stereotype-inconsistent information. We investigate whether these findings can be extended to verbal irony use. The irony bias posits that irony is more appropriate to communicate stereotype-inconsistent than stereotype-consistent information. Three experiments support this hypothesis by showing that irony is found more appropriate (Experiments 1-2) and used more often (Experiment 3) in stereotype-inconsistent than in stereotype-consistent situations. Furthermore, linguistic biases have important communicative consequences, because they implicitly serve to maintain stereotypic expectancies. Experiment 4 shows that irony shares this characteristic with other linguistic biases, in that irony—compared to literal language—leads to more external attribution. Taken together, these results indicate that stereotypic expectancies are subtly revealed and confirmed by verbal irony, and that verbal irony plays an important role in stereotype communication and maintenance.

U2 - 10.1177/0093650214534975

DO - 10.1177/0093650214534975

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 414

EP - 441

JO - Communication Research

JF - Communication Research

SN - 0093-6502

IS - 3

ER -