DAN Faculty in the news

Professor Julie Schermer was recently featured in Discover in an article entitled: What your Sense of Humor Says About Your Mental Health

Excerpt from Discover

Julie Aitken Schermer, a psychological researcher at The University of Western Ontario, says that humor that is self-focused, adaptive and positive — otherwise known as self-enhancing — can be a particular psychological boon. “People who engage in that type of humor can cheer themselves up by thinking about positive or funny events [and] experiences,” she says. Beyond that, people who use self-enhancing humor are less likely to show signs of depression, loneliness and poor relationships with others.

By contrast, both aggressive and self-defeating humor styles can signal trouble. “We find that those individuals are more likely to self-harm,” says Schermer. "Personally, I would argue that self-defeating humor is the most concerning style as it is also linked with loneliness and feelings of not mattering." Those with an aggressive humor style may not experience loneliness as much, however, since they rely on group dynamics in order to ridicule their peers.

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