Humor styles, optimism, and their relationships with distress among undergraduates in three Chinese cities

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-370
Journal / PublicationHumor
Issue number2
Online published10 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2013


The supposed benefit of humor for the relief of distress has not been demonstrated with certainty amongst Chinese people. In particular, an empirical study of this benefit is necessary in order to clarify the differential effects of different styles of humor, after controlling for optimism. With this aim, the present study investigates the effects based on data from 493 university students in three Chinese cities, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau. Results reveal some negative and positive effects of different humor styles on distress, independently of effects due to optimism. These effects did not vary among the three cities. Nevertheless, some limitations of the effects of humor are notable.

Research Area(s)

  • humor styles, optimism:, distress