Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Rod Martin


For decades, physicians, theorists, and members of the media have popularized the old

adage that “laughter is the best medicine.” Despite arguments for the beneficial effects of humour, the evidence relating humour and health is weak and inconsistent. Two understudied areas o f research pertain to humour conceptualized as a creation ability (i.e., wittiness) and emotional temperament. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to investigate relationships between these humour dimensions (in addition to humour styles) and a series of mental health variables, illness symptoms, and health-related lifestyle behaviours. Two humour production activities and a variety of self-report questionnaires were completed by 215 university students. Correlation analyses indicated that playfulness was important for humour creation ability, but neither playfulness nor wittiness were important for mental health. Furthermore, the ability to be witty was related to general health, but overall, unrelated to lifestyle behaviours. These findings have implications for humour-health interventions.



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