School of Behavioral Sciences
Humor, Happiness, Humor Styles, Psychology, Social Behavior
Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology
Randall, Virginia, "Effect of Mood on Humor" (2021). Senior Honors Theses. 1053.
Humor is a social tool that has been documented for hundreds of years with a plethora of studies being produced to attempt to piece together a comprehensive definition of the concept. Among these studies, there have been several analyses regarding the psychological, cognitive, psychobiological, and neural effects of humor, and how they are outwardly manifested. Additionally, several social contexts have been considered. In analyses of humor, several theories have been produced, many based off of figurehead concepts within the field of psychology.
Primary interest of this research study was in whether these studies and theories can support whether there is an association between an individual’s style of humor and subjective levels of happiness. Rod Martin and Patricia Doris’ Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ) measured humor style and Peter Hills and Michael Argyle’s Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) measured happiness levels. Analysis of the data found that there was a statistically significant positive correlation between the OHQ scores and affiliative humor (r(98) = .22, p = .028), a statistically significant positive correlation between the OHQ scores and self-enhancing humor (r(98) = .253, p = .011), a statistically significant negative correlation between the OHQ scores and self-defeating humor (r(98) = -.365, p < .001), and no correlation between the OHQ scores and aggressive humor (r(98) = -.087, p = .388).