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Master of Science




Dr. Nick Kuiper


The research domains of humor and positive psychology promote strategies that can enhance well-being. However, these lines of investigation have proceeded in relative isolation. Therefore, this thesis considered how positive psychology constructs, namely, gratitude and savoring, share features with the humor styles. Study 1 mapped out the inter-relationships among these strategies, as differentially used by individuals. Findings indicated that these strategies share meaningful relationships, and that humor and positive psychology have unique roles within the context of well-being. The humor styles also moderated relationships gratitude shared with well-being. Study 2 extended this work by manipulating use of positive psychology and humor strategies. Results indicated that the humor, gratitude, and savoring exercises promoted adaptive change in negative appraisals compared to the control exercise, and pre-exercise state determined the type of benefit derived from the exercise. Furthermore, high trait levels of affiliative humor, gratitude, and savoring bolstered the effectiveness of the exercise.