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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 13, 2009

Were they really laughed at? That much? Gelotophobes and their history of perceived derisibility

René T. Proyer, Christian F. Hempelmann and Willibald Ruch
From the journal


The List of Derisible Situations (LDS; Proyer, Hempelmann and Ruch, List of Derisible Situations (LDS), University of Zurich, 2008) consists of 102 different occasions for being laughed at. They were retrieved in a corpus study and compiled into the LDS. Based on this list, information on the frequency and the intensity with which people recall being laughed at during a given time-span (12 months in this study) can be collected. An empirical study (N = 114) examined the relations between the LDS and the fear of being laughed at (gelotophobia), the joy of being laughed at (gelotophilia), and the joy of laughing at others (katagelasticism; Ruch and Proyer this issue). More than 92% of the participants recalled having been laughed at at least once over the past 12 months. Highest scores were found for experiencing an embarrassing situation, chauvinism of others or being laughed at for doing something awkward or clumsy. Gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism were related about equally to the recalled frequency of events of being laughed at (with the lowest relation to katagelasticism). Gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism yielded a distinct and plausible pattern of correlations to the frequency of events of being laughed at. Gelotophobes recalled the situations of being laughed at with a higher intensity than others. Thus, the fear of being laughed at exists to a large degree independently from actual experiences of being laughed at, but is related to a higher intensity with which these events are experienced.

Published Online: 2009-02-13
Published in Print: 2009-February

© 2009 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin

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