Why Laughing at Yourself May Be Good For You: First Ever Study
By Maia Szalavitz
In these gloomy, uncertain times, the ability to have a good laugh — especially at your own expense — may be essential for survival. But are people really capable of having a sense of humor about themselves?
In the first-ever study of its kind, Ursula Beermann of the University of California, Berkeley, and Willibald Ruch of the University of Zurich studied 70 psychology students to gauge their ability to laugh at themselves. The findings support what has long been believed: that being able to laugh at oneself is not only a distinct trait, but is also linked with having an upbeat personality and good mood and may be the foundation for a good sense of humor.
Participants in the study were asked to rate their ability to see the humor in their own plight. They also designated one or two friends to rate them on the same characteristic.
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