• The Covid-19 Pandemic as an Opportunity for Positive Psychology to Promote a Wider-Ranging Definition of Humour and Laughter

      Gonot-Schoupinsky, Freda; Garip, Gülcan; Independent Researcher, Monte Carlo, Monaco; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillan/ Springer, 2021-09-17)
      Traditionally, positive psychology (PP) considers humour as one of 24 character strengths and associates it with the core virtue of transcendence, a view perpetuated in Second Wave PP. We debate the need for a wider conceptualisation of humour and a more pragmatic recognition of its benefits and applications within the framework of Third Wave PP. Anecdotal and observational findings relating to the use of humour during the Covid-19 pandemic are considered. We draw on empirical research revealing the diverse benefits of humour and laughter in different cultural settings, including during lockdown. Using examples, including Covid-19 humour, we contend that the depiction of beneficial humour in PP is incomplete, for example, it relates not only to transcendence but to all six core virtues, and misleading as it may not necessarily relate to any. A more practical and broader depiction of humour within Third Wave PP would be helpful, including emphasising the potential of multiple character strengths to support humour development. In particular, we highlight the need for laughter, currently viewed as a by-product of humour within PP, to play a more prominent role. Widening the portrayal of humour and laughter in PP will be helpful to value and harness their individual, and joint, benefits and applications. In this chapter, we call for Third Wave PP to encourage new research directions by embracing the complexity of humour as 1) an interlinked character strength; 2) associated to all core virtues; 3) benefitting overall personal development; and 4) differentiated from but co-equal to laughter.
    • Laughter and humour for personal development: A systematic scoping review of the evidence

      Gonot-Schoupinsky, Freda N.; Garip, Gulcan; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2020-05-23)
      The accessibility of laughter and humour make them attractive choices for self-care, and integrative medicine. There is a growing body of literature, but both fields are fragmented and the overall evidence has not been systematically reviewed. The relationship between health and personal development is increasingly recognized. This review scopes the evidence for laughter and humour interventions from the perspective of their potential benefits on personal development. A systematic scoping review used Joanna Briggs guidelines and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews Scoping Review extension (PRISMA-ScR). All-population laughter and humour interventions described in primary and secondary research from 1970, and in English, were searched in Web of Science and PubMed/Medline. Analysis of 240 primary research articles (k), and 11 systematic reviews (K), identified k = 564 discrete articles with studies involving 574,611 participants (n). Twelve large studies (n >15,000) contributed 77% of participants. Classification analysis found more research relating to humour (k = 445, n = 334,996) than laughter (k = 119, n = 239,615) and identified diverse personal development outcomes associated with Biological, Psychological, Social, Environmental, and Behavioural (BPSE-B) factors. This review presents growing evidence for the diverse applications and benefits of laughter and humour. Multiple opportunities for self-care and interventional applications are described. The consideration of personal development outcomes may support tailored applications according to specific needs and objectives. An umbrella Personal Development Theory of laughter and humour, inclusive humour and laughter definitions, and a humour-laughter-affect model are proposed to unify the fields.