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Title: Humor Styles, Gelotophobia and Self-esteem: A Comparative Study between the Chinese and the Indians
Authors: Hiranandani, Neelam Arjan
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Issue Date: 2010
Course: SS4708 Research Project in Psychology
Programme: Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Psychology
Instructor: Dr. Yue, Xiaodong
Subjects: Wit and humor -- Cross-cultural studies.
Chinese wit and humor.
Indic wit and humor.
Abstract: Objectives: Humor Styles has been studied intensively in recent years. Till date, there have been reports on individual and cultural differences on Humor styles; however, there have been minimal studies on the Indian humor styles and less research in the Chinese on this issue. This paper addresses the styles of humor in two cultures – the Chinese and the Indians. Furthermore, this study is an attempt to reveal empirically the relationship between humor styles, gelotophobia and self-esteem in the Chinese and the Indians. Method: The participants of the present study were sampled from universities in Hong Kong and India at a random basis, consisting of a total of 203 undergraduate students (57.6% females, 42.4% males; 49.8% Chinese, 50.2% Indians) who aged above 18 and below 26 years. To evaluate the findings, the data was collected through a questionnaire which was a combination of three standardized instruments namely, the Rosenberg Self-esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965), the Humor Styles Questionnaire (Martin et al., 2003) and the GELOPH-15 scale (Ruch & Proyer, 2008). Participants were also required to rank the importance of humor and their self-humor. Moreover, they had to list three most humorous people according to them along with reasoning. The data were then analyzed using SPSS, Independent t-tests, Repeated measures ANOVA, Univariate analysis of variance, Pearson correlation and Regression. Results: Firstly, the results reported that Indian students rate the importance of humor significantly higher than the Chinese students and also consider themselves as being humorous. Secondly, this study affirms that collectivistic cultures use more adaptive humor than maladaptive humor styles. In terms of gelotophobia, results indicate that the Chinese demonstrate signs of the fear of laughter more than Indians. Lastly, a relation of gelotophobia and the following has been recorded: low self-esteem, low affiliative humor, low self-enhancing humor and high self-defeating humor. Conclusions: All in all, this study brings out the empirical data in the Indians and Chinese. Indians use the adaptive styles of humor more than maladaptive styles just like other collectivistic cultures; nonetheless, they use it more than the Chinese. Similar results were found with the gelotophobia. Lastly, the significant relation between gelotophobia and self-esteem indicates that low self-esteem scorers may have signs of expressions of fear of laughter.
Appears in Collections:OAPS - Dept. of Applied Social Sciences

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