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Humor styles: Psychopaths & Machiavellians more likely to use "negative humor"

Martin and Lefcourt developed the "Human Response Questionnaire" to categorize the different types of humor.

We have:

  • Affiliative Humour: measures one’s willingness to communicate humorous contents, telling jokes and teasing others wittily and spontaneously which are aimed at entertaining others (e.g. “I enjoy making people laugh”).
  • Self-Enhancing Humour, which is likewise positive, includes a humorous outlook on life, the ability to find the humorous aspects of ambivalent everyday situations and using humor as a means of coping (e.g. “My humorous outlook on life keeps me from getting overly upset or depressed about things”).
  • Negative Humour always harms someone by reducing their self-esteem.
    This category includes Aggressive Humour that serves to criticize others (sarcasm, ridicule, mockery) or as a means of threat or offense as does racist and sexist humour
  • Self-Defeating Humour is also a type of negative humor manifested in self-criticism and self-disparagement aimed at entertaining others (e.g. “I often try to make people like or accept me more by saying something funny about my own weaknesses, blunders, or faults”).

Machiavellianism (and psychopathy) were only correlated with negative humor (Veselka et al. 2010).

Negative humor is what we'd call here "value-taking", which includes social climbing, one-upping, undermining, thread expanding on mistakes, etc. etc.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
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