Humor and Life Stress: Antidote to Adversity by Herbert M. Lefcourt

By Herbert M. Lefcourt

This monograph displays a end result of affects. Over a decade in the past, a graduate pupil on the college of Waterloo, Dr. Carl Sordoni, had labored with one of many current authors (H.L.) to develope a dissertation all for humor. at the moment, the literature on humor was once scanty. there has been a lot that have been written by means of philosophers and students in literature. yet in psychology, in particular empirical learn in psychology, there has been now not an overpowering literature to provide substance to the assumption that humor was once a major point in human affairs. thoughts of that dissertation are fond. The findings have been disappoint­ ing, however the execution of the learn supplied us with a lot hilarity. notwithstanding the dissertation study didn't pan out as we had was hoping, we had began to seem for the impact of humor in different investigations that we have been engaging in. released experiences from that period are defined during this ebook, one in every of which grew as an off-shoot of a dissertation through Dr. Paul Antrobus. In those stories not just did we discover facts that humor should be anticipated and understood inside of specific contexts, yet back we came across amusement in doing the studies.

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As expected, moderate correlations were found between the various scales. The Coping Humor Scale and the Metamessage Sensitivity sub scale were TABLE 2-4. Intercorrelations of humor scales. 33* Metamessage Sensitivity Scale Liking of Humor Subscale Coping Humor Scale Note. N= 56. "Situational Humor Response Questionnaire. 01. 001. 37* 30 TABLE 2. Questionnaire Approaches to the Assessment of the Sense of Humor 2-5. Means and standard deviations (SDs) for humor scales. 99 aSituational Humor Response Questionnaire.

Finally, although this new humor scale was designed on the basis of Eysenck's quantitative definition of humor, we hypothesized that it might also be used to measure the sense of humor in terms of the productive definition. Individuals who report smiling and laughing in situations that are not obviously or necessarily humor-arousing might tend actively to produce humor rather than simply to respond to it passively. In other words, it is likely that such individuals have developed the sort of mental facility for playing with ideas and perceptions in novel ways that is necessary for humor production, rather than being amused only by the more obviously laughable features of their external environments.

We loosely followed Epstein's (1979) situation classification system to create a broad list of situations for the scale. Our aim was to provide a sample of both pleasant and unpleasant situations, ranging from specific and structured to general and unstructured and from relatively common to relatively unusual. The finished SHRQ scale, which is presented in Table 2-2, contains 21 items. The first 18 each describe a particular situation. In order to maximize the likelihood that subjects will report their normal responses rather than presenting an idealized image of themselves, they are instructed to recall a time when they were actually in each type of situation or, if they cannot remember such an experience, to imagine themselves in such a situation.

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