A recent study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that verbal aggression, exclusion, bullying and incivility are becoming more frequent in today's workplaces.
Researchers Jana Raver at Queen's University and Lisa Nishii at Cornell University found that along with harassment on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and the like, there is evidence that it also comes in the form of personal or psychological harassment.
The researchers studied how ethnic harassment (targeting particular ethnic groups), gender harassment (crude, offensive behaviours conveying sexist attitudes) combined with generalized workplace harassment to create particularly noxious outcomes for staff targeted.
They discovered that while staff who experience ethnic or gender harassment often cope with these experiences by discounting it as prejudice, it is harder for targets of personal harassment to do the same. This is due to the ambiguous nature of the harassment.
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