Disrespectful actions have many negative repercussions, as
disrespect can foster hostility, prompt violence, and negatively impact
relationships (Hawkins, 2015; Miller, 2001). Emotional responses to disrespect
tend to be negative, although more research is needed to investigate overall
reactions to disrespectful experiences across the lifespan. This study will
investigate how different age groups and how different genders respond to
scenarios of disrespect. Young and older adult participants will respond to
three different scenarios of being disrespected, specifically by being ignored.
The researchers define ignored disrespect as physically excluding someone,
ignoring what someone is saying, and ignoring the feelings of another person.
Participants will report their emotional responses to the disrespect scenarios,
as well as their sensitivity to the disrespect described in the scenarios. The
researchers expect to find not only age differences in response to disrespect
but also gender differences, as well. Past researchers have found that the
gender of both parties (the disrespect target and the disrespect actor)
moderated the reactions to the disrespect (Blincoe & Harris, 2011). It is
clear that disrespect creates emotional harm, but the extent of this harm may
be different between men and women. Men and women may also vary in their
overall intensity to disrespect and their emotional reaction, with men believed
to react more with anger and women believed to react more with sadness.
Learning more about reactions to disrespect can have implications for
relationships within a variety of settings, including in schools, at home, in
the workplace, and within healthcare settings. An ultimate goal of studying
disrespect is to create possible interventions and education platforms to
discourage disrespect from happening in the first place.
Keywords: Disrespect, Gender, Socio-emotional Selectivity Theory, Emotion, Ignored, Exclusion