Corrigan and colleagues of the Department of Psychology of the Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL) investigated the role humor can have in the decrease of stigma. They created three conditions (self-disclosure comedy, non-disclosure comedy and a control condition) and assessed attitudes and comic perceptions. Perceptions of the self-disclosed comic condition were associated with reduced stigma. The affiliative humor style enhanced this effect even further. Read more.
Seven scientists from Spain studied laughter as a diagnostic tool and were able to differentiate between depressed patients and healthy control on the base of their type of laughter. The sound structure of laughter may thus reveal underlying depression or other neuropsychiatric pathology. Read more.
Bains and colleagues studied the effects of humorous video watching in elderly on short-term memory and salivary cortisol. They found that there were increases in learning ability and delayed recall in the experimental group, compared to the control group. Also, the humor group had decreased salivary cortisol. Read more.
Although psychoanalysis as a theoretical movement has become much weaker over the last thirty or so years, the notion of defense mechanisms is still around and has not lost the magical ring it has. Recently a review about higher defense mechanisms and their role in psychotherapy written by Metzger (Columbia College) appeared, stating once more that humor is one of them, embodying a creative force and capturing anxiety and conflict. Read more.
This Israelian quasi-experimental study provides evidence that a humor therapy workshop decreased anxiety and depression in the elderly over a period of 6 months, compared to the control condition. Also, general well-being improved. Read more.
Three authors from the Moscovian institute ‘Nauchnyĭ tsentr psikhicheskogo zdorov’ia’ (including ISHS member Alyona Ivanova) studied gelotophobia, gelotophilia and katagelasticism in schisophrenics and controls. Gelotophobia was increased in psychiatric patients, compared to controls, whereas kastagelasticism was lower. Study in Russian. Read more.
Andrea Markovic and Julia Bowker from the State University of New York investigated peer-nominated anxious-withdrawn behaviors, peer outcomes and peer-valued characteristics (e.g. humor). They found that anxious-withdrawal predicted increases in acceptance for adolescent girls who were high in humor. The contrary association was found for adolescent boys high in humor. Their degree of acceptance decreased. Read more.
Ms. Tanay and her colleagues of King’s College in London investigated the dimensions of the humour concept in adult cancer care. They found that humour may be considered as a subjective emotional response, due to incongruity, resulting in closeness in a context of trust. Also, humour is considered a coping mechanism. Read more.
Two studies by Mr. Proyer and his colleagues from the University of Zurich on laughter were published in the Journal of Psychology. Both studies showed that gelotophobia was negatively associated with several character strengths like hope, zest and love. Peer-ratings and self-reports contributed to higher validity of the conclusions. Read more.
Good days and bad days for dementia patients were analyzed in a qualitative study by Rockwood and colleagues from Nova Scotia, Canada. Good days could not simply be characterized as the reverse of bad days. Good days were sometimes characterized by improved cognitive and global functioning. Sometimes a good sense of humor was also mentioned. Read more.