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Toward a dynamic model of Gelotophobia: Social support, workplace bullying and stress are connected with diverging trajectories of life and job satisfaction among Gelotophobes


Ruch, Willibald; Stahlmann, Alexander G (2020). Toward a dynamic model of Gelotophobia: Social support, workplace bullying and stress are connected with diverging trajectories of life and job satisfaction among Gelotophobes. Current Psychology:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Recent theoretical advances have grounded gelotophobia (Greek: gelos = laughter, phobos = fear) in a dynamic framework of causes, moderating factors, and consequences of the fear of being laughed at. This understanding corresponds to that of vulnerability and translates gelotophobia into a distinguishable pattern of lacking resources (i.e., misinterpretation of joy and laughter) that can result in negative consequences (e.g., reduced well-being and performance) if individuals have no access to further resources (e.g., social support) or are exposed to severe stressors (e.g., workplace bullying). Based on the panel data provided by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES (N = 2469 across six measurement intervals), this study takes the first step toward empirically testing this model’s assumptions: First, we computed exemplary zero-order correlations and showed that gelotophobia was negatively connected with social support (resource) and life and job satisfaction (consequences) and positively connected with perceived stress, work stress, and workplace bullying (stressors). Second, we used longitudinal cluster analyses (KmL; k-means-longitudinal) and showed that the panel data can be clustered into three stable patterns of life and job satisfaction and that gelotophobia is primarily related to the two clusters marked by lower levels of satisfaction. Third, we computed partial correlations and showed that social support, perceived stress, and work stress (but not workplace bullying) can weaken or completely resolve gelotophobia’s relationships with such diverging trajectories of life and job satisfaction. We concluded that seeing gelotophobia through the lens of vulnerability is useful and that such research warrants further attention using more dedicated, theoretically grounded projects.

Abstract

Recent theoretical advances have grounded gelotophobia (Greek: gelos = laughter, phobos = fear) in a dynamic framework of causes, moderating factors, and consequences of the fear of being laughed at. This understanding corresponds to that of vulnerability and translates gelotophobia into a distinguishable pattern of lacking resources (i.e., misinterpretation of joy and laughter) that can result in negative consequences (e.g., reduced well-being and performance) if individuals have no access to further resources (e.g., social support) or are exposed to severe stressors (e.g., workplace bullying). Based on the panel data provided by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES (N = 2469 across six measurement intervals), this study takes the first step toward empirically testing this model’s assumptions: First, we computed exemplary zero-order correlations and showed that gelotophobia was negatively connected with social support (resource) and life and job satisfaction (consequences) and positively connected with perceived stress, work stress, and workplace bullying (stressors). Second, we used longitudinal cluster analyses (KmL; k-means-longitudinal) and showed that the panel data can be clustered into three stable patterns of life and job satisfaction and that gelotophobia is primarily related to the two clusters marked by lower levels of satisfaction. Third, we computed partial correlations and showed that social support, perceived stress, and work stress (but not workplace bullying) can weaken or completely resolve gelotophobia’s relationships with such diverging trajectories of life and job satisfaction. We concluded that seeing gelotophobia through the lens of vulnerability is useful and that such research warrants further attention using more dedicated, theoretically grounded projects.

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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
Language:English
Date:8 September 2020
Deposited On:15 Dec 2020 14:11
Last Modified:17 Dec 2020 02:17
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1046-1310
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-020-01046-y
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID51NF40-160590
  • : Project TitleNCCR LIVES: Overcoming vulnerability - life course perspectives (phase II)

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