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From four to nine styles: An update on individual differences in humor


Heintz, Sonja; Ruch, Willibald (2019). From four to nine styles: An update on individual differences in humor. Personality and Individual Differences, 141:7-12.

Abstract

Investigating individual differences in humor has become a popular topic for personality research. Three approaches to humor-related styles were proposed in the literature, namely Craik, Lampert, and Nelson's (1996) five bipolar styles of humorous conduct, Martin, Puhlik-Doris, Larsen, Gray, and Weir's (2003) four humor styles, and Ruch, Heintz, Platt, Wagner, and Proyer (2018) eight comic styles. The present study aims to determine how many styles can be empirically distinguished by comparing the Humor Styles Questionnaire (Martin et al., 2003) and the Comic Style Markers (Ruch, Heintz et al., 2018) in a sample of 570 German-speaking adults. The findings showed redundancies among three scales, namely the affiliative, self-enhancing, and aggressive humor styles and the comic styles fun, benevolent humor, and sarcasm. One humor style (self-defeating) and five comic styles (nonsense, wit, irony, satire, and cynicism) were distinguishable between the two measures. Thus, these findings suggest that at least nine styles should be distinguished. Eventually, developing a comprehensive model and valid measures of individual differences in humor in cumulative research programs is needed to understand how humor unfolds in our everyday lives and how it can be applied effectively in interventions.

Abstract

Investigating individual differences in humor has become a popular topic for personality research. Three approaches to humor-related styles were proposed in the literature, namely Craik, Lampert, and Nelson's (1996) five bipolar styles of humorous conduct, Martin, Puhlik-Doris, Larsen, Gray, and Weir's (2003) four humor styles, and Ruch, Heintz, Platt, Wagner, and Proyer (2018) eight comic styles. The present study aims to determine how many styles can be empirically distinguished by comparing the Humor Styles Questionnaire (Martin et al., 2003) and the Comic Style Markers (Ruch, Heintz et al., 2018) in a sample of 570 German-speaking adults. The findings showed redundancies among three scales, namely the affiliative, self-enhancing, and aggressive humor styles and the comic styles fun, benevolent humor, and sarcasm. One humor style (self-defeating) and five comic styles (nonsense, wit, irony, satire, and cynicism) were distinguishable between the two measures. Thus, these findings suggest that at least nine styles should be distinguished. Eventually, developing a comprehensive model and valid measures of individual differences in humor in cumulative research programs is needed to understand how humor unfolds in our everyday lives and how it can be applied effectively in interventions.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Psychology DoktoratPSych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:1 April 2019
Deposited On:17 Jan 2019 12:07
Last Modified:17 Jan 2021 01:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0191-8869
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.12.008

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