Abilene Campus (Residential)
Date of Award
Master of Science
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Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor
Third Committee Member or Committee Reader
The usage of humor as a coping strategy is one that has been well-studied in the realm of psychology (Abel, 2002). However, research into the usage of dark humor as a coping mechanism, as well as dark humor expressed in memes, is not nearly as well-studied. This study (N = 50) replicated previous findings on humor and personality and expanded the research on self-directed humor and dark humor by comparing it to humor styles outlined by Martin et al. (2003) and Tsukawaki and Imura (2020). Replication results were mixed, with some findings supporting previous research between the Big Five personality traits and humor styles, while other relationships were non-significant. Predictions about dark humor were partially supported. Most individuals could distinguish between dark and light humor styles but reported minimal differences between the two regarding the meme’s impact on mood, offensiveness, or perceived humor. Despite this, the results showcased a strong positive correlation between dark humor endorsement and psychological distress (r = .51). I end by discussing the implications of the findings, limitations, and future directions of research.
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Napp, Theodor, "The Medicine of Memes: An Exploration of Humor Styles, Memes, and Dark Humor" (2023). Digital Commons @ ACU, Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 595.