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Humor And Anxiety Essay

1357 words - 5 pages

(touch this up) Abstract To determine if humor has an affect on anxiety. Eastern Kentucky University, College Students (N = 20; 16 women; 3 men; 1 unknown; Mean age = 21.33) were instructed to think of things that they were upset or nervous about and then about something humorous or relaxing. Students decreased in anxiety more when thinking of relaxation then when thinking of humor. This implies that relaxation techniques should be used over humorous ones where anxiety levels should be kept to a minimum, such as a study area or the work room of an anxiety-reduction center.Humorous and Anxiety Humor is a wonderful thing that can lighten most peoples hearts. If we can use humor to alleviate problems associated with anxiety, many people will be able to have a more stress-free life. It is possible that humor may affect muscle tension. Prerost and Ruma (1987) randomly assigned students from an introductory Psychology class to view different types of humor. Each group saw a different type of humor, either sexual, violence, neutral, and a control group saw non-humorous scenery. The stimuli were on slides projected onto a screen facing the subjects (Ss). The Ss were then instructed to relax while viewing the slides. Finally muscle tension was measured several times with a biofeedback device. Results suggested that Ss who saw humorous stimuli decreased muscle tension more then Ss who saw non-humorous stimuli. It is possible that anxiety may be affected by humor. Danzer, Dale, and Klions (1990) did a study with undergraduate women in an introductory Psychology class. All of the Ss initially completed an anxiety checklist. The Ss then were presented with 20 progressively more depressing slides for 15 seconds each. Ss were instructed to read each slide to themselves, read it out loud, then think about it and try to feel it. This induced anxiety as a side effect. Ss then completed another anxiety checklist. Ss were finally then randomly assigned to one of three groups, either humor, non-humor, or control. The humor group heard a tape of humorous content, the non-humor group heard a tape of non-humorous content, and the control group heard no tape but sat in silence for the same amount of time that the other groups listened. All Ss then completed a final anxiety checklist. Results suggested that all 3 groups decreased in anxiety. The present study explored the effects of humor on anxiety. Ss were randomly assigned to either a humor group or a relaxation group. All Ss first completed an anxiety scale. Ss in the humor group were instructed to think of something humorous while Ss in the relaxation group were instructed to think of something relaxing. All Ss then completed another anxiety scale. The present study was different from the previous research in how the humor was presented. Previous research by Prerost and Ruma presented Ss with slides of cartoons. Danzer, Dale and Klions (1990) gave Ss audio tapes of humor and non humor to...

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