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Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 399–420 | Cite as

Dealing with laughter and ridicule in adolescence: relations with bullying and emotional responses

  • René T. Proyer
  • Lukas E. Meier
  • Tracey Platt
  • Willibald Ruch
Article

Abstract

We investigated the fear of being laughed at (gelotophobia), the joy in being laughed at (gelotophilia), and the joy in laughing at others (katagelasticism) in adolescent students (N = 324, 13–15 years). Gelotophobia was associated primarily with the victim and katagelasticism with the bully-role (self- and peer reports). Gelotophobia correlated with laughing at oneself if experiencing an embarrassing situation. Gelotophilia increased with the propensity to laugh if observing or experiencing embarrassment; katagelasticism increased with laughing if observing something embarrassing in another person. Imagining potentially embarrassing situations was associated with greater feelings of anxiety, shame, sadness, and embarrassment; gelotophilia with joy and cheerfulness. The study breaks the ground for a better understanding on how adolescent students deal with laughter and ridicule.

Keywords

Bullying Gelotophobia Gelotophilia Katagelasticism Laughter Ridicule Victimization 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a research grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation awarded to RTP and WR (SNSF; 100014_126967) and the European Union Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n 270780 (ILHAIRE project).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • René T. Proyer
    • 1
  • Lukas E. Meier
    • 1
  • Tracey Platt
    • 1
  • Willibald Ruch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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