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The Experience of Failed Humor: Implications for Interpersonal Affect Regulation.

Williams M, Emich KJ - J Bus Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Understanding individuals' willingness to continue in attempts to regulate the affect of others contributes to the comprehension of an understudied phenomenon that has implications for interpersonal behavior in organizations such as helping, group decision making, and intragroup conflict.Studies of interpersonal affect regulation often focus on people's ability to successfully regulate others' emotions.In contrast, this is the first quantitative study to explore factors that influence individual's willingness to persist in interpersonal affect regulation after failure, and to investigate how individual differences influence the personal outcomes associated with failed attempts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: ILR School, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate failed interpersonal affect regulation through the lens of humor. We investigated individual differences that influenced people's affective and cognitive responses to failed humor and their willingness to persist in the interpersonal regulation of positive affect after a failed attempt.

Design/methodology/approach: Using well-established autobiographical narrative methods and surveys, we collected data at two time points. All participants (n = 127) received identical surveys at time 1. At time 2, they were randomly assigned to complete a narrative about either successful or failed humor as well as a second survey.

Findings: Using moderated regression analyses and SEM, we found significant differences between our failed and successful humor conditions. Specifically, individual differences, including gender, affective perspective taking, and humor self-efficacy, were associated with negative reactions to failed humor and the willingness of individuals to persist in the interpersonal regulation of positive affect. Moreover, affective perspective taking moderated the effect of gender in both the failed and successful humor conditions.

Implications: Our results suggest that failed humor is no laughing matter. Understanding individuals' willingness to continue in attempts to regulate the affect of others contributes to the comprehension of an understudied phenomenon that has implications for interpersonal behavior in organizations such as helping, group decision making, and intragroup conflict.

Originality/value: Studies of interpersonal affect regulation often focus on people's ability to successfully regulate others' emotions. In contrast, this is the first quantitative study to explore factors that influence individual's willingness to persist in interpersonal affect regulation after failure, and to investigate how individual differences influence the personal outcomes associated with failed attempts.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Inductive model of failed interpersonal affect regulation (*Model assumes controls for trait positive affect and trait negative affect)
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Fig4: Inductive model of failed interpersonal affect regulation (*Model assumes controls for trait positive affect and trait negative affect)

Mentions: Because affective perspective taking (T1) was associated with new attempts in our regression analyses, we also tested a model freeing the path from affective perspective taking (T1) to new attempts (T2). A sequential Chi square difference test indicated that the revised model did not fit significantly better than our original model (Δχ(1) = 2.11, p = 0.15), so we retained the more parsimonious model. Thus, although we cannot test our model on the same data used to develop it, the results presented here are suggestive of a more comprehensive set of simultaneous relationships summarized in Fig. 4.Fig. 4


The Experience of Failed Humor: Implications for Interpersonal Affect Regulation.

Williams M, Emich KJ - J Bus Psychol (2014)

Inductive model of failed interpersonal affect regulation (*Model assumes controls for trait positive affect and trait negative affect)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4232757&req=5

Fig4: Inductive model of failed interpersonal affect regulation (*Model assumes controls for trait positive affect and trait negative affect)
Mentions: Because affective perspective taking (T1) was associated with new attempts in our regression analyses, we also tested a model freeing the path from affective perspective taking (T1) to new attempts (T2). A sequential Chi square difference test indicated that the revised model did not fit significantly better than our original model (Δχ(1) = 2.11, p = 0.15), so we retained the more parsimonious model. Thus, although we cannot test our model on the same data used to develop it, the results presented here are suggestive of a more comprehensive set of simultaneous relationships summarized in Fig. 4.Fig. 4

Bottom Line: Understanding individuals' willingness to continue in attempts to regulate the affect of others contributes to the comprehension of an understudied phenomenon that has implications for interpersonal behavior in organizations such as helping, group decision making, and intragroup conflict.Studies of interpersonal affect regulation often focus on people's ability to successfully regulate others' emotions.In contrast, this is the first quantitative study to explore factors that influence individual's willingness to persist in interpersonal affect regulation after failure, and to investigate how individual differences influence the personal outcomes associated with failed attempts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: ILR School, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate failed interpersonal affect regulation through the lens of humor. We investigated individual differences that influenced people's affective and cognitive responses to failed humor and their willingness to persist in the interpersonal regulation of positive affect after a failed attempt.

Design/methodology/approach: Using well-established autobiographical narrative methods and surveys, we collected data at two time points. All participants (n = 127) received identical surveys at time 1. At time 2, they were randomly assigned to complete a narrative about either successful or failed humor as well as a second survey.

Findings: Using moderated regression analyses and SEM, we found significant differences between our failed and successful humor conditions. Specifically, individual differences, including gender, affective perspective taking, and humor self-efficacy, were associated with negative reactions to failed humor and the willingness of individuals to persist in the interpersonal regulation of positive affect. Moreover, affective perspective taking moderated the effect of gender in both the failed and successful humor conditions.

Implications: Our results suggest that failed humor is no laughing matter. Understanding individuals' willingness to continue in attempts to regulate the affect of others contributes to the comprehension of an understudied phenomenon that has implications for interpersonal behavior in organizations such as helping, group decision making, and intragroup conflict.

Originality/value: Studies of interpersonal affect regulation often focus on people's ability to successfully regulate others' emotions. In contrast, this is the first quantitative study to explore factors that influence individual's willingness to persist in interpersonal affect regulation after failure, and to investigate how individual differences influence the personal outcomes associated with failed attempts.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus