Perspective taking : the effect of self-enhancing and self-defeating humor in a stressful situation

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shaun Lappi (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Thomas Ford

Abstract: Previous research has shown that individual differences in humor styles impact people’spsychological well-being (Martin, Puhlik-Doris, Larsen, Gray and Weir, 2003). The presentstudy expands on previous research by conceptualizing humor styles as a situational variable; Itreated humor style as an independent variable in an experiment rather than as a personalityvariable in a correlational study. I hypothesized that people induced to engage in self-enhancinghumor would report less state anxiety associated with a stressful event, more positive state selfesteem,and more positive and less negative affect. I hypothesized that people induced to engagein self-defeating humor would report the opposite effects. Participants engaged in a role-playexercise imagining they were about to take a stressful math test. Compared to participants in acontrol condition, those who were exposed to and engaged in self-enhancing humor reported lessstate anxiety associated with the test, increased state self-esteem and less negative affect.Contrary to my hypothesis, exposure to and engagement in self-defeating humor had no effectsrelative to the no-humor control condition.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Anxiety, Happiness, Humor Styles, Self-Esteem, Subjective Well-Being
Wit and humor -- Psychological aspects

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