This study measured the impact of a purposeful aerobic laughter intervention on employees’ sense of self-efficacy in the workplace. Participants were 33 employees of a behavioral health center. They met for 15-minute sessions on 15 consecutive workdays and engaged in a guided program of non-humor dependent laughter. The primary outcome measure was the Capabilities Awareness Profile, a self-report self-efficacy questionnaire. Employees demonstrated a significant increase in several different aspects of self-efficacy, including self-regulation, optimism, positive emotions, and social identification, and they maintained these gains at follow-up. Purposeful laughter is a realistic, sustainable, and generalizable intervention that enhances employees’ morale, resilience, and personal efficacy beliefs.
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The authors would like to thank Michele Ediger for assistance with data collection and management, Ivan Williams, MBA for assistance with statistical analysis, and Shari Roth, B.A. for assistance with both data management and statistical analysis.
Subscales of the Capabilities Awareness Profile (CAP)
Self-Awareness: This scale assesses your awareness of your beliefs, values, expectations, needs, and feelings. It reflects your awareness of your limits and weaknesses, and your perceived ability to accept responsibility for your mistakes.
Self-Acceptance: This scale describes your ability to accept both positive and negative aspects of yourself. Not being critical of yourself, experiencing confidence in yourself, feeling good about yourself, and believing in yourself are characteristics of this scale.
Self-Actualization: This scale measures your ability to live up to your potential through the pursuit of challenging goals, setting high personal standards, and pursuing tasks that take you out of your comfort zone. It is associated with seeking activities and challenges that lead to a more meaningful and full life.
Self-Regulation: This scale describes your perceived competence in controlling thoughts and feelings under stress. It involves the capacity to remain calm and to work effectively under pressure.
Adaptability: This scale describes your ability to solve problems by being flexible, creative, and translating ideas into action. It is the ability to see the big picture, to look at situations from different viewpoints, and to prioritize problems based on their importance.
Motivation: This scale indicates the strength of your ability to begin and sustain behaviors to accomplish goals. An important part of coping with stress involves perseverance, and the ability to stick with difficult situations and tasks.
Optimism: This scale measures your ability to be positive and hopeful about the future even in the face of stress, setbacks, or disappointments. It reflects your capacity to look at the future with confidence and to maintain a positive attitude.
Assertiveness: This scale measures your ability to express your thoughts and feelings in a nondestructive manner. It reflects your capacity to communicate ideas and feelings in straightforward ways.
Social Identification: This scale assesses your perceived capacity to feel connected with others. This is manifested through a sense of belonging, acceptance, and feeling secure with others.
Empathy: This scale reflects your ability to be aware of, sensitive to, and appreciative of others’ thoughts and feelings. It reflects your ability to respond to others in an understanding and caring manner.
Positive Emotions: This scale assesses your capacity to experience positive emotions. The ability to experience and sustain positive emotions is associated with greater satisfaction and contentment in your work and personal life. People who are able to experience and sustain positive emotional experiences tend to be healthier and live longer.
Role Compliance: This scale describes your capacity to comply with the rules and expectations of your work or school environment.
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Beckman, H., Regier, N. & Young, J. Effect of Workplace Laughter Groups on Personal Efficacy Beliefs. J Primary Prevent 28, 167–182 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-007-0082-z
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