Positive Humor: New Insights and Perspectives

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Psychology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 10248

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Interests: cognitive, affective and communicative aspects of humor; character strength; wellbeing; emotions; coping.

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Interests: identity in adolescence and emerging adult; coping; gender differences; environmental psychology and sustainable tourism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education Sciences, University of Genoa, 16121 Genoa, Italy
Interests: wellbeing; community and environmental psychology; coping; migration processes; reliance and family relationship

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few decades, there has been a growing interest in the positive power of humor, here broadly understood as an umbrella term including for example laughter, mirth, cheerfulness, playfulness, joy, funniness. According to the frame of positive psychology, benevolent humor, which lies on a competent playful attitude and a socially warm humorous style, has been included in the values in action (VIA) classification of human strengths of character and has an adaptive value. Benevolent humor has protective functions for individuals and groups. In fact, positive humor plays a significant role in eliciting positive emotions, coping with stressful events, enhancing control over the problematic situation, predicting wellbeing and satisfaction, contributing to resilience. Approaching stressful situations with humor may promote a lighter or a new perspective, which in turn may positively impact emotion regulation, cognitive appraisal, and reappraisal of the demanding situation. Moreover, the use of positive humor may promote positive interpersonal relationships, group cohesion, and social support. In light of these premises, this Special Issue aims at advancing the literature on positive humor aimed at improving health and overall quality of life, from inter- and multi-disciplinary perspectives. We therefore welcome theoretical and/or empirical contributions that broaden knowledge on the protective functions of humor. Training programs for enhancing positive humor are also welcome.

Dr. Carla Canestrari
Prof. Dr. Alessandra Fermani
Prof. Dr. Laura Migliorini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Behavioral Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • positive humor
  • humor-styles
  • coping
  • well-being
  • stress
  • positive emotions
  • individual differences
  • social support
  • groups

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

10 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Do Clowns Really Taste Funny? An Investigation of the Relationship between Humor and Playfulness in Clown Doctors
by Alberto Dionigi, Alessandra Fermani and Carla Canestrari
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13040328 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2675
Abstract
Healthcare clowning represents a well-established method for relieving patients and their relatives of discomfort during hospitalization. Although studies concerning the effectiveness of this approach are increasing in number, state-of-the-art studies conducted to evaluate the psychological characteristics of clown doctors are scarce. In this [...] Read more.
Healthcare clowning represents a well-established method for relieving patients and their relatives of discomfort during hospitalization. Although studies concerning the effectiveness of this approach are increasing in number, state-of-the-art studies conducted to evaluate the psychological characteristics of clown doctors are scarce. In this cross-sectional study, a convenient sample of 210 clown doctors (143 females, 67 males) aged between 18 and 75 years (M = 47.34, SD = 12.31) completed a demographic questionnaire, the Comic Styles Markers, and the Short Measure for Adult Playfulness. The results demonstrated that clown doctors bring higher levels of fun, benevolent humor, and nonsense and a lower level of cynicism compared to the populace. Moreover, the participants with more experience tend to use less irony, sarcasm, and cynicism than those with less experience. Playfulness was primarily related to the lighter styles of humor, and specific differences between the Whiteface and the Auguste clown doctors were observed. The results are discussed with reference to previous studies conducted on groups of clown doctors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Positive Humor: New Insights and Perspectives)
11 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Humor Coping Reduces the Positive Relationship between Avoidance Coping Strategies and Perceived Stress: A Moderation Analysis
by Luca Simione and Camilla Gnagnarella
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13020179 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4985
Abstract
Humor is considered an adaptive coping strategy as it could reduce the burden of perceived stress and increase positive emotional states when dealing with stressful situations. Humor has been reported in several models as a rather independent strategy that can be correlated with [...] Read more.
Humor is considered an adaptive coping strategy as it could reduce the burden of perceived stress and increase positive emotional states when dealing with stressful situations. Humor has been reported in several models as a rather independent strategy that can be correlated with both approach-based coping strategies and avoidance-based coping strategies. Humor can be defined as a hedonistic escapism strategy that would work better in the presence of unpredictable or uncontrollable stressors, such as the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related confinement measures. Therefore, during such a stressful event, humor would have increased the positive effect of the approach coping style on mental health and reduced the negative effect of the avoidance coping style. Based on this hypothesis, we conducted a cross-sectional study with a moderation analysis in which we assessed the interaction of humor with both approach-based and avoidance-based coping styles on perceived stress in a large sample of Italian participants collected in April and May 2021. Despite some limitations related to sampling and study design, the results obtained partially support our hypothesis, as we observed that humor had a significant moderating effect on the relationship between avoidance coping and psychological distress, with a reduction of perceived stress while using such a coping style in the presence of a medium to high level of humor. On the other hand, we did not observe a significant moderating effect of humor on the relationship between the approach coping style and perceived stress. In general, our results support the beneficial effect of humor on mental health and highlight a special role for humor as a moderator of other coping strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Positive Humor: New Insights and Perspectives)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 462 KiB  
Article
Deriving Information on Play and Playfulness of 3–5-Year-Olds from Short Written Descriptions: Analyzing the Frequency of Usage of Indicators of Playfulness and Their Associations with Maternal Playfulness
by Nancy Tandler and René T. Proyer
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12100385 - 8 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
Playfulness is an individual differences variable that enables people to (re-)frame almost any situation into an entertaining, amusing, intellectually stimulating and/or personally interesting situation by interacting playfully with others, by resolving tension, by liking complexity over simplicity and/or by having a preference for [...] Read more.
Playfulness is an individual differences variable that enables people to (re-)frame almost any situation into an entertaining, amusing, intellectually stimulating and/or personally interesting situation by interacting playfully with others, by resolving tension, by liking complexity over simplicity and/or by having a preference for unusual topics, persons and/or activities. We asked 208 German-speaking mothers of 3–5-year-olds to describe their child in 5–10 sentences. Using a list of criteria for playfulness (e.g., actively initiating humor, playful exchange with others or widespread interests), we found that mothers used, on average, two playful characteristics to describe their child (17% did not report any). Greater usage of playful descriptors in the written texts was positively related mainly to greater other-directed and intellectual playfulness of the mothers. The findings are encouraging and suggest that the list of playful criteria in descriptions of children could be used in the study of inter-individual differences in playfulness in young children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Positive Humor: New Insights and Perspectives)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop