In this year’s fifth issue of the Israeli Journal of Humor Research a number of interesting studies are welcomed. Subjects are Catalan political humor, Goffman’s sociology as a tool to understand humor and the history of philosophy on humor and laughter. Read more.
Kreifelts and colleagues from several institutions in Germany investigated the role of laughter in embaressment using fMRI. They let people with more or less social anxiety listen to laughter. They found that several cerebral activation patterns mediated the influence of social anxiety on laughter perception. Read more.
Mainali and co-authors in Reading, Massachusetts, reported on a seizure induced by laughter. It was recorded by EEG when the man, a 43-year old obese Caucasian, enjoyed a comedy show. The seizure episodes lasted about five seconds. Read more.
In this review by Gildberg and three other Danish researchers twelve articles were found describing the use of humor in forensic settings. The review defines three areas of study: humor in staff, humor as a relational tool and the impact humor might have on patients. Read more.
In May 2014, this year’s second issue of Humor, the International Journal of Humor Studies, has been published, with interesting articles on the assessment of humor climate, comedy in ancient Athens and Rome and an analysis of contemporary and ancient satire using the philosophical techniques of cynicism and kynicism (a non-nihilistic form of cynicism). But this is definitely not all! Read more.
In an observational study in Australian nursing homes for the elderly, Low and colleagues studied the effects of a 9-12 weekly ElderClown sessions on happiness and agitation. they found that humor therapy decreased agitation and increased happiness. Read more.
Peter and his colleagues from Switzerland built a model trying to explain rehabilitation participation in spinal cord injury, including variables like self-efficacy, purpose in life and humorous coping. Although explained variance of the model was low (15%), humor was quite firmly incorporated in the model, partially mediating the effects of self-efficacy and challenge appraisel on rehabiliation participation. Read more.
UK researchers Ando and colleagues studied the relationship between creativity and madness in comedians. They found that comedians were high on both introverted anhedonia (lack of pleasure) and extraverted impulsiveness, compared to actors. Read more.
A UK study by Branney and colleagues showed that men with penile cancer took their condition very serious, making it difficult for them to joke about it. Only after the operation they were able to do so. However, the use of humour by nurses and patients after the operation is still recommended because of its relief and function. Read more.
Jones and others from the Institute of Psychiatry in London, England investigated the potential use of comedy to influence mental health attitudes among military personnel. Stating that these attitudes might be negative, which is undesirable, they compared a comedy group with a control group. Stigmitisation decreased and knowledge about mental health increased shortly after the intervention. However, the effect was short-lived. Read more.