Title

Personality traits and humor styles used in coping

Presenter Information

Clay KennedyFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Spanish

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Tracey McCue

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Humor is a multifaceted concept with behavioral, cognitive, emotional, psychophysiological, and social aspects, which has a variety of purposes, including coping (Erickson & Feldstein, 2007). Further, research has found that people prefer what type of humor they use to cope, with most preferring positive humor styles (i.e., affiliative, meant to enhance relationships; Self-enhancing, optimistic humor regarding the self) over the more negative humor styles (i.e., Aggressive, detrimental humor at the expense of others; Self-defeating, humor at the expense of the self). Another factor that can affect the preferred humor style is personality. Personality is a combination of traits that form an individual’s character, and it can contribute to a different perspective on humor. According to Martin et al. (2003), The Big Five personality traits are correlated with different humor preferences (e.g., , Extraversion is related to the usage of Affiliative and Self-enhancing humor; positive associations between Neuroticism and the use of Self-defeating and Aggressive humor). Although previous studies have focused on the relationship between personality and humor style, as well as humor style and its use for coping, there is little research into what humor styles personality traits tend to rely on as a coping mechanism. The current study seeks to extend the literature by examining the relations between personality traits and humor styles when used for coping. It is currently hypothesized that the effect of stressful or uncomfortable situations may affect the humor style that certain personality traits are more inclined to use, such that those with the Extraversion trait are expected to prefer Affiliative and Self-enhancing humor more than other humor styles. Those that score higher on Neuroticism might be positively correlated to negative humor styles (i.e., Aggressive and Self-defeating) to a lesser extent than in general situations. The results of this study has the potential to increase understanding of the relations between personality and preference for using different types of humor as a coping skill. Additionally, results can help inform preventative-interventions in developing humor as a healthy coping mechanism.

Keywords: humor styles, coping, personality traits

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Personality traits and humor styles used in coping

Humor is a multifaceted concept with behavioral, cognitive, emotional, psychophysiological, and social aspects, which has a variety of purposes, including coping (Erickson & Feldstein, 2007). Further, research has found that people prefer what type of humor they use to cope, with most preferring positive humor styles (i.e., affiliative, meant to enhance relationships; Self-enhancing, optimistic humor regarding the self) over the more negative humor styles (i.e., Aggressive, detrimental humor at the expense of others; Self-defeating, humor at the expense of the self). Another factor that can affect the preferred humor style is personality. Personality is a combination of traits that form an individual’s character, and it can contribute to a different perspective on humor. According to Martin et al. (2003), The Big Five personality traits are correlated with different humor preferences (e.g., , Extraversion is related to the usage of Affiliative and Self-enhancing humor; positive associations between Neuroticism and the use of Self-defeating and Aggressive humor). Although previous studies have focused on the relationship between personality and humor style, as well as humor style and its use for coping, there is little research into what humor styles personality traits tend to rely on as a coping mechanism. The current study seeks to extend the literature by examining the relations between personality traits and humor styles when used for coping. It is currently hypothesized that the effect of stressful or uncomfortable situations may affect the humor style that certain personality traits are more inclined to use, such that those with the Extraversion trait are expected to prefer Affiliative and Self-enhancing humor more than other humor styles. Those that score higher on Neuroticism might be positively correlated to negative humor styles (i.e., Aggressive and Self-defeating) to a lesser extent than in general situations. The results of this study has the potential to increase understanding of the relations between personality and preference for using different types of humor as a coping skill. Additionally, results can help inform preventative-interventions in developing humor as a healthy coping mechanism.

Keywords: humor styles, coping, personality traits