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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 28, 2018

Psychometric evaluation of the revised Sense of Humor Scale and the construction of a parallel form

Willibald Ruch and Sonja Heintz
From the journal HUMOR

Abstract

McGhee (1996, Health, healing and the amuse system: Humor as survival training. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt; 1999, Health, healing and the amuse system: Humor as survival training (3rd edition). Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt) proposed a model of the sense of humor including the six “humor skills” of enjoyment of humor, laughter, verbal humor, finding humor in everyday life, laughing at yourself, and humor under stress, measured with the Sense of Humor Scale (SHS). The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the psychometric properties of the SHS (revised version from 1999) and to develop a parallel form of the SHS to double the amount of items for each humor skill. Combing these two forms should yield reliable and factorially valid scales of the six humor skills. Participants in two online studies (n=315 and 542) completed the SHS and its parallel form, along with measures of various outcomes. The psychometric properties of the SHS were of mixed quality, and those of the parallel form were uniformly good. The parallel-test reliability was sufficiently high to regard the two scales as parallel versions. Combining the two measures resulted in reliable and distinguishable scales of the six humor skills. All humor skills correlated positively with humor-related attitude and mood, cheerfulness, and life satisfaction. Importantly, they spanned different dimensions of the sense of humor, underscoring the usefulness of each humor skill.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Sarah Auerbach and the graduate students for their help in creating the SHS-P items and in collecting data for Sample 1. We would also like to thank Frank Appletree Rodden for his helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript and Moritz Meyer for drawing Figure 1.

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Published Online: 2018-4-28
Published in Print: 2018-4-25

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