The effects of laughter on discomfort thresholds: Does expectation become reality?

Citation
Dl. Mahony et al., The effects of laughter on discomfort thresholds: Does expectation become reality?, J GEN PSYCH, 128(2), 2001, pp. 217-226
Citations number
14
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-1309 → ACNP
Volume
128
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
217 - 226
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-1309(200104)128:2<217:TEOLOD>2.0.ZU;2-K
Abstract
Distraction and relaxation have been controlled in previous studies as poss ible mechanisms for the effectiveness of mirthful laughter in coping with p ain and discomfort. The purpose of this study is to control expectation of benefit from laughter. Discomfort thresholds for a blood pressure cuff at t he upper dominant arm were recorded immediately before and after exposure t o either a humorous or a relaxation video. Instructional sets led participa nts to believe that the video would either increase or decrease their sensi tivity to discomfort. A 5th group watched the humorous video without manipu lation of expectation. All participants completed A. Ziv's (1979) Sense of Humor Questionnaire (SHQZ). Humor and relaxation videos raised discomfort t hresholds, and the effect of both video types was enhanced by expectations. Humorous personality trait (SHQZ) did not moderate effects. The larger iss ue of whether mirthful laughter has any unique benefit for pain or discomfo rt control beyond the effects of relaxation, distraction, or expectation is discussed.