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Gelotophobia: life satisfaction and happiness across cultures


Proyer, Rene T; Ruch, Willibald; Chen, G H (2012). Gelotophobia: life satisfaction and happiness across cultures. Humor, 25(1):23-40.

Abstract

The fear of being laughed at (gelotophobia) was examined in its relations to concepts from positive psychology in Austria, China, and Switzerland. It was related to satisfaction with life and Peterson et al.’s (2005) three orientations to happiness; the life of pleasure (hedonism), life of engagement (related to flow-experiences), and life of meaning (eudaimonia). Participants (N = 744) completed self-report measures of gelotophobia, satisfaction with life, and orientations to happiness. The results revealed that gelotophobia could be found in all three countries. The participants exceeded cut-off points indicating gelotophobia in Austria (5.80%), China (7.31%), and Switzerland (7.23%). The fear of being laughed at was negatively related to life-satisfaction in all three
countries. Gelotophobes described themselves with lower overall estimations of their lives. Gelotophobia was negatively correlated with life engagement (i.e., flow experiences). In China, gelotophobia was also related to a lower life of pleasure and life of meaning. Overall, the results show that gelotophobes do not pursue any of the three orientations to happiness. Interventions from positive
psychology (e.g., enhancing satisfaction with life, strengthening the routes to happiness) are discussed as possible treatments of gelotophobia.

Abstract

The fear of being laughed at (gelotophobia) was examined in its relations to concepts from positive psychology in Austria, China, and Switzerland. It was related to satisfaction with life and Peterson et al.’s (2005) three orientations to happiness; the life of pleasure (hedonism), life of engagement (related to flow-experiences), and life of meaning (eudaimonia). Participants (N = 744) completed self-report measures of gelotophobia, satisfaction with life, and orientations to happiness. The results revealed that gelotophobia could be found in all three countries. The participants exceeded cut-off points indicating gelotophobia in Austria (5.80%), China (7.31%), and Switzerland (7.23%). The fear of being laughed at was negatively related to life-satisfaction in all three
countries. Gelotophobes described themselves with lower overall estimations of their lives. Gelotophobia was negatively correlated with life engagement (i.e., flow experiences). In China, gelotophobia was also related to a lower life of pleasure and life of meaning. Overall, the results show that gelotophobes do not pursue any of the three orientations to happiness. Interventions from positive
psychology (e.g., enhancing satisfaction with life, strengthening the routes to happiness) are discussed as possible treatments of gelotophobia.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:engagement, gelotophobia, laughter, life-satisfaction, meaning, pleasure, positive psychology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:10 Feb 2012 12:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:35
Publisher:Mouton de Gruyter
ISSN:0933-1719 (Print), 1613-3722 (Electronic)
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2012-0002

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