Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Christian Jordan

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Recent research has shown that when teasing occurs between two people, the intentions of the teaser are not always known, or appreciated by the recipient of the tease, thus creating a rift between the teaser and the target (Kruger et al, 2006). Targets of teasing tended to rate the tease and the intentions of the teaser more negatively than did the teaser. The purpose of the present research was to examine perceptions of teasing within the context of close relationships. Although teasing may be perceived as a threatening situation, members of a close interpersonal relationship may be motivated to lessen the negative impact of a tease from someone close to them. In Study 1, we asked participants to think about teasing in three different situations: teasing in general with no specific reference to themselves or someone they know, when they were the teaser, and when they were the target of a tease in a close relationship. Results showed that participants viewed teasing in general to be negative, but when asked about teasing in a close relationship they viewed it to be considerably more positive. In Study 2, we more closely examined the effects of closeness on the perceptions of teasing by randomly assigning participants to think about either a close other or a not close other. The findings suggest that relationship closeness seems to motivate participants to view teasing more positively from close others than from not close others.

Convocation Year