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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 19, 2008

Relating humor preference to schizotypy and autism scores in a student sample

David Rawlings
From the journal


While previous research has related humor preferences to a range of normal personality dispositions and pathologies, it has not related humor preference to schizotypy, a construct at the interface between normal personality and psychopathology. Nor has it related humor preference to autism, as this appears within the normal population. The present study employed a multi-factorial measure of schizotypy, the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE) and the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Student participants completed the self-report measure and rated how funny and unpleasant/aversive they found 48 purportedly humorous stimuli differentiated according to whether they were violent or neutral, and whether they comprised jokes, real-life situations involving others, or real-life situations involving the self. A Principal Components Analysis of the ratings produced five factors. Subsequent correlation and regression analyses related each obliquely rotated factor to at least one individual-differences variable: Sex differences was most clearly related to Lack of Empathy, O-LIFE Unusual Experiences to Sense of Humor—Joke Oriented, O-LIFE Introvertive Anhedonia to Sense of Humor—Reality Oriented, O-LIFE Cognitive Disorganization to Personal Sensitivity, and the AQ to Aversive Reaction to Humor. The data point to the usefulness in humor research of constructs at the interface between abnormal and normal personality.

Published Online: 2008-05-19
Published in Print: 2008-May

© 2008 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin