Benevolent and corrective humor are two comic styles that have been related to virtue, morality, and character strengths. A previous study also supported the viability of measuring these two styles with the BenCor in 22 countries. The present study extends the previous one by including further countries (a total of 25 countries in 29 samples with N = 7813), by testing the revised BenCor (BenCor-R), and by adding two criterion measures to assess life satisfaction and four broad humor dimensions (social fun/entertaining humor, mockery, humor ineptness, and cognitive/reflective humor). As expected, the BenCor-R showed mostly promising psychometric properties (internal consistency and factorial validity). Consistent with previous studies, benevolent humor correlated positively with life satisfaction in most countries, while corrective humor was uncorrelated with life satisfaction. These relationships were only slightly changed when controlling for social fun/entertaining humor and mockery, respectively. Benevolent humor was mostly positively associated with cognitive/reflective humor, followed by social fun/entertaining humor and mockery. Corrective humor was mostly positively associated with mockery, followed by cognitive/reflective and social fun/entertaining humor, although these relationships differed between the countries. Overall, the present study supports the viability of benevolent and corrective humor, which has yet received insufficient attention in psychology, for cross-cultural investigations and applications of humor, well-being, and morality.
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In psychology, both terms, humor styles and comic styles, refer to individual differences in everyday funny/comical occurrences (i.e., detecting, appreciating, and producing funny stimuli, events, and utterances). The term humor style has been used with a focus on humorous conduct (Craik et al. 1996) and functions of humor (Martin et al. 2003). The term comic style originally denotes an aesthetic style or genre, and was recently transferred to psychology (Ruch et al. 2018a) to denote fine-grained individual differences in everyday funny/comical experiences (which includes benevolent and corrective humor/satire).
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We would like to thank Maria Araceli Alvarez-Gasca, Anna Andrzejewska, Ching-Hui Chen, Wojciech Chłopicki, Piotr Chruszczewski, Noreha Hashim, Elvira De Dios-Hernandez, Joanna Dybiec, Dariusz Kałuża, Sarah Kettmann, Maria Mocarz-Kleindienst, Theodoros Kyriazos, Hsiao-Hui Lin, Marhaini Mohd Noor, Andrew R. Olah, Ana Laura Parada-Lopez, Andrejs Andrievs Ramma, Dorota Rygiel, Grzegorz Szpila, Barbara Śpiewak, Patricia Vargas-Benitez, Alicja Witalisz, MA and PhD students at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics from Transilvania University of Brașov, and the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University for their additional support in the translation and data collection. We would also like to thank Olenka Dworakowski for her help in analyzing and presenting the results. Finally, we would like to thank Jessica Milner Davis for her insightful comments on previous versions of the manuscript.
Funding was provided by University of Rijeka (Grant No. uniri-drustv-18-27), Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (Grant No. 11160661), Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (Grant No. IUT 22-5), European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Grant No. TK 145 Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies), Center for Social Sciences at Seoul National University (Center for Happiness Studies), The Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan (Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences and the Chinese Language and Technology Center of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU)).
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Heintz, S., Ruch, W., Aykan, S. et al. Benevolent and Corrective Humor, Life Satisfaction, and Broad Humor Dimensions: Extending the Nomological Network of the BenCor Across 25 Countries. J Happiness Stud 21, 2473–2492 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00185-9
- Life satisfaction
- Cross-cultural comparisons