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Humour as emotion regulation: The differential consequences of negative versus positive humour

Gross, James J.
Published in Cognition and Emotion. 2012, vol. 26, no. 2, p. 375-384
Abstract Humour is often seen as an adaptive coping strategy; however, the empirical literature is inconclusive. One possible explanation is that different types of humour have different adaptive consequences. In the present research, we predicted that positive (good-natured) humour would be more effective at regulating negative emotions than negative (mean-spirited) humour. In Study 1, participants were shown negative pictures two times. First, they simply viewed the pictures and rated their levels of positive and negative emotions. Second, they were instructed to: (a) view; (b) use positive humour; or (c) use negative humour, and then rate their reactions. Compared to negative humour, positive humour was more successful at down-regulating negative and up-regulating positive emotion. In Study 2, we replicated these findings and showed that these effects cannot be explained by differences in difficulty between the two humour conditions, participants' expectations, or social desirability. Taken together, these findings suggest that positive (but not negative) humour may be an effective form of emotion regulation.
Keywords EmotionEmotion regulationHumourCoping
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Article (Published version) (382 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Affective sciences
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SAMSON, Andrea Christiane, GROSS, James J. Humour as emotion regulation: The differential consequences of negative versus positive humour. In: Cognition and Emotion, 2012, vol. 26, n° 2, p. 375-384. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2011.585069 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:98021

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Deposited on : 2017-10-25

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