Laughter Is (Powerful) Medicine: the Effects of Humor Exposure on the Well-being of Victims of Aggression

Laughter Is (Powerful) Medicine: the Effects of Humor Exposure on the Well-being of Victims of... Aggression at work is an expensive and widespread problem. While a large body of research has studied its antecedents and consequences, few studies have examined what victims can do to help mitigate the damage once it has occurred. Many practitioners and scholars have suggested that workers seek out humor to help them deal with the impact of stressors such as aggression, but little is known about whether humor can actually help victims deal with the psychological damage caused by aggression in the workplace. This paper presents a programmatic series of four experimental studies that examine whether and how exposure to humorous stimuli improves well-being among victims of interpersonal aggression by integrating the superiority theory of humor with Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping. Study 1 (N = 84 students) showed that exposure to humor had a positive effect on well-being in a sample based in the Philippines. Consistent with theoretical prescrip- tions from the superiority theory of humor, this effect was mediated by increased momentary sense of power. Study 2 (N =205 students) found the same positive effects of humor exposure on well-being in a sample based in Australia even when manipu- lating perpetrator power. These http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business and Psychology Springer Journals

Laughter Is (Powerful) Medicine: the Effects of Humor Exposure on the Well-being of Victims of Aggression

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Psychology; Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Community and Environmental Psychology; Personality and Social Psychology; Business and Management, general; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0889-3268
eISSN
1573-353X
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10869-018-9548-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Aggression at work is an expensive and widespread problem. While a large body of research has studied its antecedents and consequences, few studies have examined what victims can do to help mitigate the damage once it has occurred. Many practitioners and scholars have suggested that workers seek out humor to help them deal with the impact of stressors such as aggression, but little is known about whether humor can actually help victims deal with the psychological damage caused by aggression in the workplace. This paper presents a programmatic series of four experimental studies that examine whether and how exposure to humorous stimuli improves well-being among victims of interpersonal aggression by integrating the superiority theory of humor with Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping. Study 1 (N = 84 students) showed that exposure to humor had a positive effect on well-being in a sample based in the Philippines. Consistent with theoretical prescrip- tions from the superiority theory of humor, this effect was mediated by increased momentary sense of power. Study 2 (N =205 students) found the same positive effects of humor exposure on well-being in a sample based in Australia even when manipu- lating perpetrator power. These

Journal

Journal of Business and PsychologySpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2018

References

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