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Laughing at yourself may be good for mental well-being

Press Trust of India  |  London 

People who frequently crack jokes about themselves to gain approval of others have greater levels of psychological well-being, a study has found.

The findings, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, contradict some of the research carried out to date in the of

Up until now, a significant deal of the research literature has suggested that self-defeating is exclusively associated with negative psychological effects among individuals who regularly employ this style of


"In particular, we have observed that a greater tendency to employ self-defeating is indicative of high scores in psychological dimensions such as happiness and, to a lesser extent, sociability," said from in Spain.

"The results, as well as being consistent with the positive connotations traditionally attributed to the act of 'laughing at oneself' in our country, also suggest that the effects of self-defeating on may differ depending on where the research takes places," Marin said.

"Consequently, we believe it is necessary to conduct new studies aimed at analysing potential cultural differences in the use of this kind of humour," he said.

"Our research fits into one of the theoretical models that aim to overcome these limitations and provide the of with a well-founded, accurate theoretical body of knowledge," said Hugo Carretero Dios, from University of Granada.

Nonetheless, researchers also point out that certain styles of may be employed to conceal negative intentions and feelings.

"enables individuals with low scores in honesty to build trust, closeness, etc. with other people and thereby use important information in order to manipulate them or obtain advantages in the future," said Gines Navarro-Carrillo from

The results regarding the relationship between the use of and anger management suggests that the capacity for maintaining a humorous perspective in adverse situations, ie the use of self-enhancing humour, is typically found among people who manage anger more effectively, as well as among those with lower tendencies to exhibit angry feelings or reactions.

By contrast, people who tend to use aggressive or self- defeating do not manage anger or rage as well.

In particular, aggressive is mainly associated with the expression of anger towards others and a greater propensity to experience anger in everyday life.

By using aggressive humour, individuals may express negative feelings (for example, anger, superiority, hate, etc) less explicitly than they would through physical or verbal abuse, since they can allude to the humorous nature of the comments they make in order to justify them.

Self-defeating was linked to a greater tendency to suppress anger. However, this suppression does not necessarily mean that the anger directed at others is reduced or controlled, but rather that the triggers eliciting such angry reactions are concealed or not explicitly stated.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 16:55 IST
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