Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

4-2014

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Rod Martin

Abstract

Research has shown that humour is associated with satisfaction and conflict management in dyadic relationships, such as friendships and romantic relationships. However, humour is not inherently positive or negative in itself. The function of humour depends on the style through which it is expressed. Adaptive uses of humour, especially affiliative humour, are positively correlated with relationship satisfaction and conflict management. Maladaptive uses of humour, particularly aggressive humour, have the opposite effect. The current study examined daily changes in humour use, relationship satisfaction, and conflict over a period of ten days in participants who were in a dating relationship. As hypothesized, affiliative humour, used by the participant and by the partner as perceived by the participant, was positively correlated with relationship satisfaction on a day-to-day basis. Daily aggressive humour used by the partner as perceived by the participant was negatively correlated with daily relationship satisfaction. However, no significant association was found between aggressive humour used by the participant and relationship satisfaction. Conflict was negatively correlated with relationship satisfaction on a daily basis. And finally, daily affiliative humour was found to have a moderating effect on the relationship between conflict and relationship satisfaction, though a moderating effect was not found for daily aggressive humour.

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