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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 19, 2013

The impact of gelotophobia, gelotophilia and katagelasticism on creativity

Yu-Chen Chan, Hsueh-Chih Chen and Joseph Lavallee
From the journal Humor


A number of studies have found that humor has a positive short-term effect in terms of enhancing creativity, but few have examined its long-term effects, and few have considered different personality traits when exploring this connection. The present study seeks to address this gap by examining the relationship between creativity and dispositions towards ridicule and being laughed at. We conceptualized humor-induced mirth as a positive emotion within the framework of broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson 1998), with the potential to foster an individual's disposition towards creative behavior. We hypothesized that this potential would depend on different dispositions towards ridicule and being laughed at. Path analysis was then used to explore the impact of gelotophobia, gelotophilia and katagelasticism on creative performance, with creative disposition as a mediating variable. Gelotophobia, the fear of being laughed at, was found to correlate negatively with creative disposition, and may also exert an indirect negative influence on creative performance through its association with creative disposition. Gelotophilia, the joy of being laughed at, on the other hand, appears to have a partially mediated influence on creativity, exhibiting both a direct and an indirect positive relation through its positive association with creative disposition. No significant relation was observed between katagelasticism (the joy of laughing at others) and creativity.

Published Online: 2013-10-19
Published in Print: 2013-10-25

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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