Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is MicroReport?

A: MicroReport is a mobile app for reporting and viewing microaggressions. It is being used in a research study to understand what microaggressions people experience and what the long term impact of microaggressions are.


Q: What is a microaggression?

A: A formal definition of a microaggression is “subtle and often unintentional verbal or nonverbal slights that demean an individual based on their membership in a marginalized group.” In our study, we are interested in any offensive behavior or words, intentional or non-intentional, based on an identity you hold. You can use the app to report whatever you feel might be a microaggression.


Q: How do I download the app?

A: The app MicroReport is available in the Google Play Store and the iTunes Store. In order to use the app, you must register and enroll in our research study.


Q: Do I have to be part of the study to use the app?

A: Yes. As part of the study we will ask that you use the app on a regular basis and complete surveys about once a month.


Q: Who is this study conducted by?

A: This study is conducted by Dr. Christy Byrd at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her research team.


Q: Why are you conducting this study?

A: In 2015-2016, we first used the app to explore an app as a data collection device and to understand microaggressions on our campus. Read more about that study here. That work revealed long term negative consequences for microaggressions but also showed high potential for educating community members about microaggressions. We decided to expand the study in order to understand microaggressions in other parts of the country.


Q: What do I report in the description?

A: Who was involved (no names or identifying information), what happened, and how you responded. Use detail in your report. For example, “Someone said something offensive” is not as good as “My boss told a joke about women being bad drivers. I rolled my eyes at him.”


Q: Aren’t you making people more sensitive by teaching them about microaggressions?

A: Most people who experience microaggressions already find them annoying, offensive, or uncomfortable. Teaching people to understand what these experiences are about helps them cope better and has protective effects for their self-esteem and stress levels.


Q: Most microaggressions are just jokes, or they aren’t meant to be hurtful. What’s the big deal?

A: A comment can still be hurtful even if it is a joke or isn’t meant to be mean. Furthermore, many small comments can build up over time and make a person feel like they don’t belong or aren’t valued by those around them. Instead of asking the person to “just get over it”, we hope to educate communities about the impact of their language.


Q: I’m ____ and I don’t find _____ offensive. Aren’t you just policing people’s speech?

A: People respond to different comments in different ways, so different people may find different things offensive. Our goal is not to say what comments are OK or not OK. Instead, we are interested in understanding the range of things that people consider to be microaggressions and educating people on why that might be the case. If you care about not offending or hurting the people around you, you should care about what microaggressions are.

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