humor and health n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
HUMOR AND HEALTH PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation


490 Views Download Presentation
Download Presentation


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. HUMOR AND HEALTH by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen 35

  2. Extraverts Tend to be Humorous, but • “Past research has shown that extraverted individuals, in comparison with introverts, are • more likely to drink alcohol, • more likely to smoke cigarettes, • less likely to quit smoking, • and more likely to be obese.” • Remember, therefore, that “humor may have deleterious as well as beneficial health consequences.” (Martin [2008]: 484) 35

  3. Humor Styles Questionnaire • The “Humor Styles Questionnaire” was developed by Rod Martin and his colleagues (Puhlik-Doris, Larsen, Gray, and Weir). • This questionnaire includes scales for two potentially detrimental styles of humor (aggressive and self-defeating humor) and scales for two potentially beneficial styles of humor (affiliative and self-enhancing humor). (Martin [2008]: 487) 35

  4. State-Trait Cheerfulness Inventory • Willibald Ruch, Gabriele Köhler, and Christoph van Thriel developed the “State-Trait Cheerfulness Inventory,” which “defines sense of humor as an emotional temperament (i.e., the tendency to be habitually cheerful and playful), which seems quite consistent with the way humor is often conceptualized in the humor and health literature (e.g. Lefcourt 2001).” • (Martin [2008]): 488) 35

  5. Facial Action Coding System • The “Facial Action Coding System” was developed by Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen. • FACS can distinguish between genuine enjoyment (“Duchenne”) smiles and laughter (which are symmetrical) and faked or non-enjoyment smiling or laughter (which are more asymmetrical) • (Martin [2008]: 488) 35

  6. Sense of Humor Questionnaire • Sven Svebak, Rod Martin, and Jostein Holmen have developed the “Sense of Humor Questionnaire” and administered it to the entire adult population of a county in Norway (65,000 participants). • Correlations were determined between a person’s sense of humor and illness symptoms (nausea, diarrhea, pounding heart, dyspnea, musculuskeletal pain), blood pressure, overall health satisfaction, and body mass index (a measure of obesity). • (Martin [2008]: 499) 35

  7. “The results provided very little evidence for a simple relationship between sense of humor and health.” • “After controlling for age, no meaningful relationships were found between sense of humor and either illness symptoms or objective health indicators, although the study did find a weak relationship between sense of humor and satisfaction with health (r = .12).” • “These results suggest that, although high humor individuals do not seem to have objectively better health, they are somewhat more subjectively satisfied with their health.” (Martin [2008]: 499). 35

  8. Rod Martin’s Conclusion • “Despite reports in the popular media and claims made by adherents of the ‘humor and health’ movement, the research findings on health benefits of humor and laughter are not as strong, consistent, or unambiguous as is commonly believed.” • (Martin [2008]: 509) 35

  9. Humor and Pain • In Israel, “Ofra Nevo and her colleagues found a positive relationship “between tolerance of pain and sense of humor, especially with the capacity to produce humor” (71). 35

  10. Comedy Carts & Humor Rooms • There are more than 100 hospitals in the U.S. that have either “comedy carts,” or full scale “humor rooms” for reducing the fears and anxieties of their patients. (Morreall [2008] 240) 35

  11. Paul McGhee’s Suggestion • In his The Laughter Remedy: Health, Healing, and the Amuse System, Paul McGhee has the following suggestion: • “Become more playful; surround yourself with humor you enjoy. Begin telling jokes and funny stories. And laugh at yourself.” • (Morreall [2008]: 467) 35

  12. Be Critical of Humor-Benefit Claims • Rod Martin says that the claims for the benefits of humor “are often simplistic, exaggerated, and unsubstantiated. He is especially critical of methodological weaknesses in the research on humor and the immune system.” • (Morreall [2008]: 468-469) 35

  13. The Physiological Effects of Laughter--But Apply Cautious Optimism: • Many researchers claim that hearty laughter • increases the blood circulation, • ventilates the lungs • increases the oxygen intake • reduces the water vapor and carbon dioxide in the lungs • and decreases the risk of pulmonary infection. • (Morreall [2008]: 468) 35

  14. “In the blood, humorous laughter lowers the level of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol. dopac, and growth hormone).” • “In the brain, catecholamines are secreted, which may increase alertness, reduce inflammation, and trigger the release of endorphins, the brain’s natural opiates.” • “This may account for the reduction of pain often reported after laughter.” • (Morreall [2008]: 468) 35

  15. CLEARWATER, FLORIDA • At the Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Florida there is a clown school. • Graduates of the clown school patrol the halls of the hospital and give out smiley faces, joke books, and little clown babies. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  16. DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA • In Durham, North, Carolina, there is the Carolina Ha Ha organization dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle through humor and entertainment. • Ruth Hamilton is the director, and she works closely with the Duke University Medical Center Humor Project, which has donated the “Laugh Mobile” for use by cancer patients. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  17. LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY • The Oasis Room at Baptist East Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky has a player piano, humorous books, cartoon albums, and Nintendo game sets for patients and family members to use together. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  18. NEW YORK, NEW YORK • In New York City, there is a Clown Care Unit of the Big Apple Circus that sends clowns to the pediatric units of several hospitals. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  19. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA • The Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia has a humor cart with a six-foot-high clown on the front. • In the cart there are comedy tapes, squirt guns, yo-yos, whoopee cushions, slinkies, kaleidoscopes, Mr. Potato Heads, etc. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  20. Almost every major hospital in the United States now uses clowns, pets, clergy, and humor intervention as a regular part of their care systems. 35

  21. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS • Sometimes the tone gets too heavy in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, so humor is often used to transcend the moment and attain a broader perspective. 35

  22. One member told about how she used to be always drunk or hung over, but she tried to be what society expected her to be. • She volunteered to help with the Boy Scouts, and they were making moccasins. • “I remember sewing it, honest to God I can still feel it, onto my finger.” 35

  23. Telling about the humor in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, one member recounted a story about another member backing his car out of his driveway while he was drunk. • “He accidentally ran over his wife. And everybody laughed.” • “Even his wife was there, sitting in the front row, and she was laughing.” • “She limped a little bit, but she was still laughing. What a crazy place.” • (Nilsen & Nilsen 144) 35

  24. HOSPITAL HUMOR • Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, says that the more hierarchical is a working environment, the more likely are people in the middle to be frustrated. • Nurses are caught in the middle, so they often joke and clown around with their patients, often at the expense of doctors and hospital administrators, thus destroying the hierarchy that exists in hospitals. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  25. PATCH ADAMS • In Patch Adams the movie, Robin Williams plays the part of an unconventional medical student who upsets the hierarchy by playing a clown and ordering around the doctors and the hospital administrators. • The nurses and the patients approve of this behavior. 35

  26. One of the funniest episodes in the Patch Adams movie was when the inmates at a mental hospital take over a therapy session. • In this session, each of the patients is asked to contribute to a group joke. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 142) 35

  27. THE BIBLE • “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs) • (Nilsen & Nilsen 142) 35

  28. NORMAN COUSINS • If it’s possible to have a psychosomatic illness, then it is also possible to have a psychosomatic wellness. • In 1979, Norman Cousins published Anatomy of an Illness. • Cousins had developed a serious collagen disease that affected the connective tissue of his spine and joints. • The disease was life-threatening, his pain was intense, and the doctors gave him little hope for a full recovery. 35

  29. Cousins was frustrated by the hospital routines and his slow progress, so he checked himself out of the hospital and into a nearby hotel. • Here he used “humor-intervention therapy.” He read humorous books, watched funny movies, and watched tapes of “Candid Camera.” • He found that the more he laughed, the longer his body was without pain. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 142) 35

  30. WILLIAM FRY • In 1971, Dr. William Fry of the Stanford University Medical School started doing empirical studies on the effects of humor and laughter on the healing process. • His results are now widely published. • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  31. VERA ROBINSON • In 1977, Vera Robison published the first edition of her Humor and the Health Professions. • This was a very influential book. 35

  32. PATTY WOOTEN • Patty Wooten has been president of the American Association for Therapeutic Humor. • Dressed as a clown named Nancy Nurse, Wooten makes fun of doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and even patients. 35

  33. The Relief Theory of Humor • The relief theory has two forms • Humor can be a relief from pre-existing nervous energy as when rambunctious kids are forced to sit quietly for a long time. Once the pressure is off, they often resort to horseplay, buffoonery, and laughter. • Or the “set-up” for a joke or cartoon may require concentration, attention to detail, and emotional engagement. • But the punch line is a release of either type of pent-up energy. • (Morreall [2008] 222) 35

  34. Engagement Plus Release • I had written to Aunt Maud • Who was on a trip abroad • When I heard she’d died of cramp, • Just too late to save the stamp. • (Morreall [2008] 222) 35

  35. !FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS • Because we don’t want to overstate the health benefits of humor, we decided to offer some warnings: • 1. People have individualized senses of humor, and what makes one person laugh might annoy or insult someone else. 35

  36. !2. Even if it is true that people with a good sense of humor live longer, the sense of humor might not be the cause. Perhaps these people are happy because they are healthy and things are going well in their lives. • 3. Also, it could be that pleasant patients with a sense of humor just receive better health care than do the grumps. 35

  37. !!4. Although a hearty laugh does pump adrenalin and other “good” chemicals into people’s blood streams, there are other things that have the same effect. Pets and members of the clergy also have a positive effect on health and healing. • 5. If laughter enhances the immune system, then what about implant patients. A stronger immune system for them will cause them to reject their implants. 35

  38. !!!THEREFORE, A CAUTIOUS CONCLUSION • One critic compared hospital humor to changing a baby’s diaper. • “It doesn’t permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for a while.” • (Nilsen & Nilsen 143) 35

  39. 35




  43. Related PowerPoint • Clowns 35

  44. References: Adams, Patch. Gesundheit! Bringing Good Health to You: The Medical System, and Society through Physician Service, Complimentary Therapies, Humor and Joy. Rochester, NY: Hewaling Arts Press, 1993. Berk, Lee S., Stanley A. Tan, William F. Fry, Barbara J. Napier, Jerry W. Lee, Richard W. Hubbard, John E. Lewis, and William C. Eby. “Neuroendocrine and Stress Hormone Changes during Mirthful Laughter. American Journal of Medical Sciences. 298 (1989): 390-396. Buchowski, M. S., K. M. Majchrzak, K. Bloomquist, K. Y. Chen, D. W. Byrne, and J.-A Bachorowski. “Energy Expenditure of Genuine Laughter.” International Journal of Obesity 31.1 (2007): 131-137. Buttny, Richard. “Therapeutic Humor in Retelling the Clients’ Tellings.” Text 21.3 (2001): 303-326. Buxman, Karyn, and Anne LeMoine, eds. Nursing Perspectives on Humor. Staton Island, NY: Power Publications, 1995. Coser, Rose. “Some Social Functions of Laughter: A Study of Humor in a Hospital Setting.” Human Relations 12.2 (1959): 171-172. 35

  45. Cousins, Norman. Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. New York: W. W. Norton, 1979. Derks, Peter, Lynn S. Gillikin, Debbie S. Bartolome-Rull, and Edward H. Bogart. "Laughter and Electroencephalographic Activity. HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 10.3 (1997): 285-300. Doosje, Sibe. Sense of Humor at Work: Assessment and Associations with Health. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation: Utrecht, Holland: University of Utrecht, 2010. Eckman, Paul, and Wallace V. Friesen. Facial Action Coding System. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1978. Emrich, David M., Nancy Creaghead, Sandra Grether, Donna Murray and Carol Grasha. “The Comprehension of Humorous Materials by Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 33.3 (2003): 253-257. Fry, P. S. “Perfectionism, Humor, and Optimism as Moderators of Health Outcomes and Determinants of Coping Styles of Women Executives.” Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs 121.2 (1995): 211-245. 35

  46. Fry, William F. "The Biology of Humor." HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 7.2 (1994): 111-126. Fry, William F. “Laughter: Is It the Best Medicine?” Stanford M.D. 10 (1971): 16-20. Fry, William F. “Mirth and Oxygen Saturation of Peripheral Blood.” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 19 (1971): 76-84. Fry, William F. “The Physiological Effects of Humor, Mirth, and Laughter.” Journal of the American Medical Association 267 (1992): 1857-1858. Fry, William F. “The Respiratory Components of Mirthful Laughter.” Journal of Biological Psychology 19 (1977): 39-50. Fry, William F. Sweet Madness: A Study of Humor. Palo Alto, CA: Pacific Books, 1968. 35

  47. Fry, William F., and P. E. Stoft. “Mirth and Oxygen Saturation Levels of Peripheral Blood.” Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics 19 (1971): 76-84. Fry, William F., and Waleed Salameh eds. Advances in Humor and Psychotherapy. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press, 1993. Fry, William F., and Waleed Salameh, eds. Handbook of Humor and Psychotherapy. Sarasota, NY: Professional Resource Exchange, 1987. Fry, William F., and William Savin. “Mirthful Laughter and Blood Pressure.” HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 1.1 (1988): 49-62. Gallagher, Helen L., Francesca Happé, Nicola Brunswick, Paul C. Fletcher, Uta Frith, and Christopher D. Frith. “Reading the Mind in Cartoon and Stories: An fMRI Study of ‘Theory of Mind’ in Verbal and Nonverbal Tasks.” Neuropsychologia 38 (2000): 11-21. Gibson, Leslie M. Healthy Humor. Clearwater, FL: Morton Plant Hospital, 1988. 35

  48. Goldstein, Jeffrey H. “A Laugh a Day: Can Mirth Keep Disease at Bay? The Sciences 22.6 (1982): 21-25. Kamei, T., H. Kumano, and S. Masumura. “Changes of Immunoregulatory Cells Associated with Psychological Stress and Humor.” Perceptual and Motor Skills 84 (1997): 1296-1298. Kerkkanen, Paavo, Nicholas A. Kuiper, and Rod A. Martin. "Sense-of-Humor, Physical Health and Well-Being at Work: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study of Finnish Police Officers." HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 17.1-2 (2004): 21-35. Klein, Allen. The Courage to Laugh: Humor, Hope, and Healing in the Face of Death and Dying. New York, NY: Tarcher Putnam, 1998. Klein, Allen. The Healing Power of Humor: Techniques for Getting through Loss, Setbacks, Upsets, Disappointments, Difficulties, Trials, Tribulations, and All That Not-So-Funny Stuff. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1989. 35

  49. Klein, Allen. Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying: Embracing Life after Loss. New York, NY: Goodman Beck Publishing, 2011. Kohler, Gabriele, and Willibald Ruch. “Sources of Variance in Current Sense of Humor Inventories: How Much Substance, How Much Method Variance?” HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 9.3-4 (1996): 363-397. Kuiper, Nicholas A., Melissa Grimsahaw, Catherine Leite, and Gillian Kirsh. “Humor is Not Always the Best Medicine: Specific Components of Sense of Humor and Psychological Well-Being.” HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 17.1-2 (2004): 135-168. Kuiper, Nicholas A., and Rod A. Martin. “Humor and Self-Concept.” HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 6 (1993): 251-270. Kuiper, Nicholas A., and Sorrel Nicholl. “Thoughts of Feeling Better? Sense of Humor and Physical Health.” HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 17.1-2 (2004): 37-66. Lefcourt, Herbert M., Karina Davidson-Katz, and Karen Kueneman. “Humor and Immune System Functioning.” HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 3.3 (1990): 305-321. 35

  50. Lefcourt, Herbert M., Karina Davidson, Ken M. Prkachin, and David E. Mills. “Humor as a Stress Moderator in the Prediction of Blood Pressure Obtained During Five Stressful Tasks.” Journal of Research in Personality 31 (1997): 523-542. Marjoram, Dominic, Dominic E. Job, Heather C. Walley, Viktoria-Eleni Gountouna, Andrew M. McIntosh, Ernico Simonotto, David Cunningham-Owens, Eve C. Johnstone, and Stephen Lawrie. “A Visual Joke fMRI Investigation into Theory of Mind and Enhanced Risk of Schizophrenia.” NeuroImage 31.4 (2006): 1850-1858. Martin, Rod A. “Humor and Health” in Raskin (2008) 479-522. Martin, Rod A. “Humor, Laughter, and Physical Health:Methodological Issues and Research Findings.” Psychological Bulletin 127 (2001): 504-519. Martin, Rod A. The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach. London, England: Elsevier, 2007. Martin, Rod A. "Sense of Humor and Physical Health: Theoretical Issues, Recent Findings, and Future Directions." HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 17.1-2 (2004): 1-20. 35