Anxiety; Wit and humor; stress
In utilizing humorous intervention within the psychotherapeutic milieu, researchers have indicated that there is a relationship between an individual's sense of humor and stressful emotions, specifically anxiety. However, the nature of this relationship is uncertain. While some scientists propose a direct relationship between humor and anxiety, others hypothesize an inverse relationship. This study was designed to investigate this relationship, hypothesizing that the greater an individual's sense of humor, the more likely the individual would experience anxiety in social situations. The subjects were 143 male and female undergraduates. These volunteers were administered the Situational Humor Response Questionnaire (SHRQ) and the Interaction and Audience Anxiousness Scales (IAS and AAS). Pearson Product - Moment correlation coefficients were computed to analyze sense of humor (SHRQ scores) and social anxiety (IAS & AAS scores). The findings revealed a significant negative correlation between sense of humor and social anxiety, i.e., the greater the sense of humor, the lower the anxiety in social situations. Discussion of the results center on the alternative explanations of this relationship.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Fischer, James E., "Sense of Humor and Social Anxiety" (1988). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 5149.