Preface and Acknowledgements. 1. The changing concerns of psychology. 2. The experiencing of humor in everyday life. 3. Early Conceptions of Humor in Religion, Medicine, Philosophy, and Psychology. 4. The Pervasiveness of Humor. 5. The Many Faces of Humor: Variations in the Types and Definitions of Humor. 6. The Development of Humor: Accounting for Individual Differences in Humor. 7. The Effects of Stress Upon Emotion and Health. 8. Humor as an Emotion-Focused Coping Strategy. 9. Humor as a Means of Retaining Social Cohesion and Support. 10. Sense of Humor and Physiological Stress Responses. 11. Sex and Humor: Interactive Predictors of Health? 12. Summing Up. Appendices. References. Author Index. Subject Index.
In his earlier work the author has studied stress and the personality characteristics that protect us from its effects on health and well-being. In this new book he places humor firmly within the literatures of coping processes, the moderation of stressful experiences, and health by showing how humor can help create and encourage feelings of community, closeness, and control. Lefcourt blends empirical research with anecdotal reports in this thoughtful volume.
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