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Teasing

Teasing is central to human social life. In fact, in one study of grade-school children, more than 96% of respondents said they had been teased, and more than 50% admitted to teasing others. Teasing is as varied as the people doing the teasing and being teased. Teasing can be purely physical or verbal, and ranges widely in its affiliative or hostile intent. People tease to socialize, negotiate conflicts, flirt, and play. Empirical studies of this pervasive social practice have yielded answers to several intriguing questions.

Definition

A first question may be the most basic and most elusive to answer: What is teasing? Empirical studies of teasing lead to the following definition: Teasing is a behavior designed to provoke a target through the use of playful commentary on ...

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