Happiness and humour

Happiness and humour

In the latest edition of Positive Psychology News Daily, John Yeager writes about…

Humor as a Strength and Pathway to Happiness

While Michael Scott is fodder for the humor of others, many young people use humor as a way of healthily engaging others. In a study we conducted with high school freshmen and seniors from the Midwest, we found that humor and playfulness, along with curiosity and humility, were predictors of pleasure as a pathway to happiness. This was consistent with research by Kahneman and his colleagues on laughing and smiling as part of the hedonic life.

In the study, we also found that humor was highly endorsed by students, along with kindness, love, integrity, and curiosity. This supports the claim by Nansook Park and Chris Peterson that humor, gratitude and love tend to be the most common traits among adolescents. We also found that male students endorsed humor more than female students. Research by Lampert and Ervin-Tripp shows that men tend to joke more than women.

Peterson suggests that there may be shadow sides to the way people exhibit their strengths. Humor can be both self-serving and other-directed, both highly inclusive and demeaning of others. The central question is, Who is the beneficiary of the humor?

To read more about this interesting positive psychology research investigating the relationship between happiness and humour – click here