As part of our research with the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, we asked 239 participants from Kibera, Nairobi, about their experiences of disrespect.

We found that for these poor Nairobians, disrespect is common, upsetting, and associated with less happiness and less empowerment.

71% identified at least one social group that is not usually respectful towards them – from NGO workers to medical staff to police officers. When asked to recall the last time someone was disrespectful towards them, participants listed feelings of annoyance, disgust, boredom, anger, and sadness.

Experiencing more disrespect was also associated with feeling less happy and less empowered. A one-unit increase in disrespect score results in a reduction on the wellbeing scale of 0.2, and a reduction in the self-efficacy scale of 0.3 (both significant at p=>0.01).

We’ll be expanding this study around the world in the future, looking at experiences of disrespect in India, Latin America, Francophone Africa, China, and the Middle East. Check back soon for more.