Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

HUMOR

International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.655
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.718

CiteScore 2016: 0.94

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.458
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.759

Online
ISSN
1613-3722
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 29, Issue 1 (Feb 2016)

Issues

The development and validation of the Humor at Work (HAW) scale

Maren Rawlings
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Psychology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria Australia
  • Email:
/ Bruce Findlay
  • Department of Psychology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria Australia
Published Online: 2016-02-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2015-0097

Abstract

Two studies report the development and validation of the Humor At Work (HAW) questionnaire, developed specifically for the measurement of humor within workplace settings. Using an empirical approach to item selection, 150 items were administered over the internet to an international (largely Australian) sample of 339 individuals in a range of occupations. Exploratory factor analysis produced an initial questionnaire comprising eight scales. Study 2 administered the questionnaire, and several other self-report instruments, to a second sample of 377 working Australians. The eight confirmed scales were validated. Also using confirmatory factor analysis, the initial questionnaire was reduced to a final 13-item instrument comprising two scales: Pleasant Climate and Unpleasant Climate. These scales were independent of age, gender, education, and position. They were also independent of the factors of the Big Five, mood measures of positive and negative affect, social desirability, and altruism. Since Unpleasant Climate was positively correlated with the Climate of Fear measure of Ashkanasy and Nicholson (2003), and Pleasant Climate with the Affiliative and Self-Enhancing humor styles from Martin et al.’s (2003) Humor Styles Questionnaire, the HAW provides a useful measure of humor within the workplace environment.

Keywords: humor; work; fear; resistance; organizational culture

References

  • Alferoff, Catarina & David Knights. 2002. We’re all partying here: Target and games, or targets as games in call centre management. In Adrian Carr & Philip Hancock (eds.), Art and aesthetics at work, 70–92. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

  • Archakis, Argiris & Villy Tsakona. 2005. Analyzing conversational data in GTVH terms: A new approach to the issue of identity construction via humor. Humor 18(1). 41–68.Google Scholar

  • Argyle, Michael. 1989 [1979]. The social psychology of work, 2nd edn. London: Penguin Group.Google Scholar

  • Ashkanasy, Neal M. & Gavin J. Nicholson. 2003. Climate of fear in organisational settings: Construct definition, measurement and a test of theory. Australian Journal of Psychology 55(1). 24–29. doi:10.1080/00049530412331312834CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Boldero, Jennifer M., David Rawlings & Nick Haslam. 2007. Convergence between GNAT-assessed implicit and explicit personality. European Journal of Personality 21. 341–358. doi: 10.1002/per.622.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bollen, Kenneth A. & Robert A. Stine. 1992. Bootstrapping goodness-of-fit measures in structural equation models. Sociological Methods and Research 21. 205–229.Google Scholar

  • Booth-Butterfield, Steven & Melanie Booth-Butterfield. 1991. Individual differences in the communication of humorous messages. The Southern Communication Journal 56(3). 205–218.Google Scholar

  • Bowling, Nathan A., Terry R. Beehr & William M. Swader. 2005. Giving and receiving social support at work: The roles of personality and reciprocity. Journal of Vocational Behaviour 67. 476–489. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2004.08.004CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bradney, Pamela. 1957. The joking relationship in industry. Human Relations 10. 179–187.Google Scholar

  • Cann, Arnie & Lawrence G. Calhoun. 2001. Perceived personality associations with differences in sense of humor: Stereotypes of hypothetical others with high or low senses of humor. Humor 14(2). 117–130.Google Scholar

  • Costa, Paul T. & Robert R. McCrae. 1992a. Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and Individual Differences 13(6). 653–665.Google Scholar

  • Costa, Paul T. & Robert R. McCrae. 1992b. Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI_R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO_FFI). Professional manual. Odessa, FL: PAR.Google Scholar

  • Edwards, Jeffrey R. 2008. To prosper, organizational psychology should … overcome methodological barriers to progress. Journal of Organizational Behavior 29. 469–491. doi:10.1002/job.529.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Eysenck, H. J. & S. B. G. Eysenck. 1964. Manual of the Eysenck personality inventory. London: University of London Press.Google Scholar

  • Eysenck, S. B. G., H. J. Eysenck & Paul Barrett. 1985. A revised version of the psychoticism scale. Personality and Individual Differences 6(1). 21–29.Google Scholar

  • Fields, Dail L. 2002. Taking the measure of work. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

  • Finch, John F. & Stephen G. West. 1997. The investigation of personality structure: Statistical models. Journal of Research in Personality 31. 439–485.Google Scholar

  • Fisher, Cynthia D. 2000. Mood and emotions while working; Missing pieces of job satisfaction? Journal of Organizational Behavior 21. 185–202.Google Scholar

  • Fleming, Peter. 2005. Workers’ Playtime? Boundaries and cynicism in a “Culture of Fun” program. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 41(3). 285–303. doi:10.1177/0021886305277033CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Franke, Nikolaus & Sonali Shah. 2003. How communities support innovative activities: An exploration of assistance and sharing among end-users. Research Policy 32. 157–178.Google Scholar

  • Glenn, Phillip. 2003. Laughter in interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Goldberg, Lewis R. 1993. The structure of phenotypic personality traits. American Psychologist 48(1). 26–43.Google Scholar

  • Guadagnoli, Edward & Wayne F. Velicer. 1988. Relation of sample size to the stability of component patterns. Psychological Bulletin 103(2). 265–275.Google Scholar

  • Hochschild, Arlie Russell 2003. The managed heart: The commercialization of human feeling. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Holmes, Janet. 2006. Sharing a laugh: Pragmatic aspects of humor and gender in the workplace. Journal of Pragmatics 38. 26–50. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2005.06.007CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Holmes, Janet & Meredith Marra. 2002a. Humour as a discursive boundary marker in social interaction. In A. Duszak (ed.), Us and others: Social identities across languages, discourses and cultures, 377–400. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Associates.Google Scholar

  • Holmes, Janet & Meredith Marra. 2002b. Over the edge? Subversive humor between colleagues and friends. Humor 15(1). 65–87.Google Scholar

  • Homans, George C. 1975 [1951]. The human group. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar

  • Horn, John L. 1965. A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis. Psychometrika 30(2). 179–185.Google Scholar

  • Hosie, Peter, Peter P. Sevastos & Cary L. Cooper. 2006. Happy-performing managers. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar

  • Jordan, Michelle & David J. Carter. 2004. The relationship between stress and humor with Asian college students. The New Jersey Journal of Professional Counseling 56. http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/njca/JordanCarter.html (accessed 24 September 2015).Google Scholar

  • Kelley, Tom & Jonathan Littman. 2001. The art of innovation: Lessons in creativity from IDEO, America’s leading design firm. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar

  • Kline, Rex B. 2005. Principles and practice of structural equation modeling, 2nd edn. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar

  • Lampert, Martin D. & Susan M. Ervin-Tripp. 1998. Exploring paradigms: The study of gender and sense of humor near the end of the 20th century. In Willibald Ruch (ed.), The sense of humor: Explorations of a personality characteristic, vol. 3, 231–270. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Lefcourt, Herbert M. 2001. Humor: The psychology of living buoyantly. New York: Kluwer Academic & Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Linstead, Stephen. 1985. Jokers wild: The importance of humour in the maintenance of organizational culture. Sociological Review 33. 741–767. doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.ep5473624CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Martin, Rod A. 2007. The psychology of humor: An integrative approach. San Diego: Elsevier.Google Scholar

  • Martin, Rod A. & Herbert M. Lefcourt. 1984. The situational Humor Response Questionnaire: Quantitative measure of the sense of humor. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 47. 145–155.Google Scholar

  • Martin, Rod A., Patricia Puhlik-Doris, Gwen Larsen, Jeanette Gray & Kelly Weir. 2003. Individual differences in uses of humor and their relation to psychological well-being: Development of the Humor Styles Questionnaire. Journal of Research in Personality 37. 48–75.Google Scholar

  • Meisiek, Stefan & Xin Yao. 2005. Nonsense makes sense: Humor in social sharing of emotion at the workplace. In Charmine E. J. Härtel, Wilfred J. Zerbe & Neal M. Ashkanasy (eds.), Emotions in organizational behavior. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Mullany, Louise. 2004. Gender, politeness and institutional power roles: Humor as a tactic to gain compliance in workplace business meetings. Multilingua 23. 13–37. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/mult.2004.002Google Scholar

  • Norrick, Neal R. 2004. Hyperbole, extreme case formulation. Journal of Pragmatics 36. 1727–1739. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2004.06.006CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Norusis, Marija J. 2005. SPSS 14.0 Statistical procedures companion. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar

  • Patterson, Malcolm, Peter Warr & Michael West. 2004. Organizational climate and company productivity: The role of employee affect and employee level. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 77. 193–216.Google Scholar

  • Paulhus, Delroy L. 1986. Self-deception and impression management in test responses. In Alois Angleitner & Jerry S. Wiggins (eds.), Personality assessment via questionnaires, 143–165. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Paulhus, Delroy L. & Douglas B. Reid. 1991. Enhancement and denial in socially desirable responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 60(2). 307–317.Google Scholar

  • Provine, Robert R. 1996, Jan–Feb. Laughter. American Scientist 84, 38–45.Google Scholar

  • Rawlings, D. 2001. A short adjective checklist for measuring the five factors of personality. Unpublished study, University of Melbourne.Google Scholar

  • Royall, Richard M. 1986. The effect of sample size on the meaning of significance tests. The American Statistician 40(4). 313–315. doi: 10.2307/2684616CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ruch, Willibald & Gabriele Köhler. 1998. A temperament approach to humor. In Willibald Ruch (ed.), The sense of humor: Explorations of a personality characteristic, 203–228. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Ruch, Willibald, Paul E. McGhee & Franz-Josef Hehl. 1990. Age-differences in the enjoyment of incongruity-resolution and nonsense humor during adulthood. Psychology and Aging 5(3). 348–355.Google Scholar

  • Svebak, Sven. 1996. The development of the sense of Humor Questionnaire: From SHQ to SHQ-6. Humor 9(3–4). 341–361.Google Scholar

  • Taylor, Frederick Winslow. 1947 [1911]. Scientific management. New York: Harper Row.Google Scholar

  • Thorson, James A. & F. C. Powell. 1993. Development and validation of a multidimensional sense of humor scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology 49(1). 13–23.Google Scholar

  • Tyler, James & Robert Feldman. 2004. Cognitive demand and self-presentation efforts: The influence of situational importance and interaction goal. Self and Identity 3. 364–377. doi:10.1080/13576500444000137CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Veale, Tony. 2004. Incongruity in humor: Root cause or epiphenomenon? Humor 17(4). 419–428.Google Scholar

  • Velicer, Wayne F., Andrew C. Peacock & Douglas N. Jackson. 1982. A comparison of component and factor patterns: A Monte Carlo approach. Multivariate Behavioural Research 17(3). 371–388.Google Scholar

  • Wang, J. & X. Wang. 2012. Structural equation modelling: Applications using Mplus. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar

  • Warr, P., J. Cook & T. Wall. 1979. Scales of measurement of some work attitudes and aspects of psychological well-being. Journal of Occupational Psychology 52, 129–148.Google Scholar

  • Warren, S. & S. Fineman. 2007. ‘Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun here, but …: Ambivalence and paradox in a ‘fun’ work environment. In R. Westwood & C. Rhodes (eds.), Humour, work and organization, 92–112. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Watson, David, Lee A. Clark & Auke Tellegen. 1988. Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54(6). 1063–1070.Google Scholar

  • Weisfeld, Glenn E. 2006. Humor appreciation as an adaptive esthetic emotion. Humor 19(1). 1–26. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/HUMOR.2006.001Google Scholar

  • Yip, Jeremy A. & Rod A. Martin. 2006. Sense of humor, emotional intelligence, and social competence. Journal of Research in Personality 40. 1202–1208. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2005.08.005CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ziv, Avner. 1984. Personality and sense of humor. New York: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Zwick, William R. & Wayne F. Velicer. 1986. Comparison of five rules for determining the number of components to retain. Psychological Bulletin 99(3). 432–442.Google Scholar

About the article

Maren Rawlings

Maren Rawlings is currently retired but is a tutor at Swinburne University, where she graduated PhD in Psychology in 2011. She was awarded the International Society for Humor Studies Certificate of Merit in 2008, and has a particular interest in humor in the workplace. Maren has a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne and a Special Diploma in Education from the University of Oxford. Previously she jointly wrote the pre-degree Psychology Curriculum for Victorian schools, co-authored several pre-degree psychology textbooks, and taught at Methodist Ladies’ College, Melbourne for over twenty years.

Bruce Findlay

Bruce Findlay is an Adjunct Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University. He graduated PhD from The University of Melbourne in 1999. He is a social psychologist with research interests in humor and in interpersonal relationships, such as marriage and friendship.


Published Online: 2016-02-16

Published in Print: 2016-02-01


Citation Information: HUMOR, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2015-0097.

Export Citation

©2016 by De Gruyter Mouton. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in