Ambient Discrimination and Observer Task Performance
1 online resource (61 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Research shows that being a target of workplace incivility is related to negative outcomes for both the individual and the organization. According to the theory of selective incivility, stigmatized groups such as women or people of color experience a higher number of rude, uncivil behaviors than do males or whites. Consequently, it is likely that these behaviors are more commonly observed than are other ‘general’ acts of incivility. While the negative effects of more subtle forms of prejudice on performance has largely focused on the target or the perpetrator the purpose of this study is to examine if bystanders to these ambient behaviors experience similar consequences as well. In particular this study examines the effects of ambient incivility in the form of ambient discrimination (e.g. rude or discriminatory comments) on bystander task performance. A sample of 89 participants from University at North Carolina at Charlotte completed a math related task while listening to one of four scenarios where subtle discriminatory conversation was present or not. Participants were also instructed to take the Stroop Color Naming Test both before and after the math task. Although results did not fully support hypotheses, ambient incivility negatively affected task speed but not task accuracy. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Organizational behaviorSocial psychologyOrganizational sociology
InciviltyInterpersonal DiscriminationMicroaggressionOrganizational CulturePerformanceSubtle Discrimination
Heggestad, EricWalker, Lisa
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2017.
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