2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Education

The effects of humor on the perception of tragedy
Michael S. Silva♦
Dr. Christopher J. Maglio, Mr. Dave Lusk, and Dr. Linda Seidel, Faculty Mentors

How well does humor work as a preventative measure? Will any given person will perceive a tragic event as less intense if they are exposed to humorous stimuli on a regular basis? Two-hundred and fourty-eight undergraduate students enrolled in a general health and wellness class were randomly placed into one of four groups. Three of the groups were given humorous stimuli prior to being given tragic stimuli, and the fourth was given only the tragic. Each participants was asked to rate the stimuli based on how tragic they felt it was. The each completed the Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale (MSHS) at the end of the study. Results suggest that humor does not have an effect on how people perceive tragedy. Correlational studies suggest that those who scored higher on the MSHS did not find the stimuli to be less tragic than those who scored lower.

Keywords: humor, preventive measure

Topic(s):Counseling

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 14-4
Location: OP 2115
Time: 10:45

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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