Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Date:
January 26, 2008
Source:
Canisius College
Summary:
Laughter is the best medicine. We've heard the expression time and again. For decades, researchers have explored how humor helps patients relieve stress and heal. Now, researchers have taken it one step further, with new research on how humor helps medical professionals cope with their difficult jobs. She also looked at how humor affects the elderly and how it can increase communication in the workplace and in the classroom.

Laughter is the best medicine. We’ve heard the expression time and again. For decades, researchers have explored how humor helps patients relieve stress and heal. Melissa B. Wanzer, EdD, professor of communication studies at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, has taken it one step further, with her research on how humor helps medical professionals cope with their difficult jobs. She also looked at how humor affects the elderly and how it can increase communication in the workplace and in the classroom.

Related Articles


She wondered, how do health care providers care for terminally ill people and manage to come back to work each day? So she asked them, in large-scale studies. Their answer? Humor. Wanzer has found humor to be beneficial in other areas as well.

“If employees view their managers as humor-oriented, they also view them as more effective,” notes Wanzer. “Employees also reported higher job satisfaction when they worked for someone who was more humor-oriented and used humor effectively and appropriately.” Wanzer and her colleagues found that humor is an effective way to cope with on-the-job stress – again, when used appropriately.

Wanzer also recently collaborated on research that found aging adults who used humor more frequently reported greater coping efficacy, which led to greater life satisfaction. This was the third study she conducted, with three different populations, where the conclusion was the same.

But what if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly funny? Wanzer says that while you can’t change your personality, you can find ways to integrate humor into your day-to-day life and change your communication patterns.

“Self-disparaging humor, making fun of oneself, is a very effective form of humor communication, as long as it is not done excessively,” says Wanzer, who adds that telling jokes is just a small portion of humor communication.

“I also tell people to use what is around them; ‘props can be humorous too, so long as they are used appropriately and are not perceived as distracting.”

Wanzer teaches a course in “Constructive Uses of Humor,” at Canisius College, which always fills to capacity. Students are required to prepare and perform a stand-up routine in front of the class. But the class is not all fun and games. Students read through journal articles and interpret factual studies on humor. One such case involves Southwest Airlines’ strategic effort to integrate humor into the workplace, in order to create a positive environment for employees and customers.

Wanzer’s research also shows that students report learning more from teachers who use humor effectively.

“Regardless of the content, humor seems to be beneficial and productive,” says Wanzer about the importance of the constructive uses of humor. “It helps to get the point across in about in almost any situation.”

Wanzer’s findings have been published in multiple journals, including Communication Quarterly, Communication Research Reports, Communication Education, Health Communication and Journal of Health Communication.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canisius College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Canisius College. "Laughter Is The Best Medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124200913.htm>.
Canisius College. (2008, January 26). Laughter Is The Best Medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124200913.htm
Canisius College. "Laughter Is The Best Medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124200913.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins