Yawp Mag Issue 29 The Five Humour Styles | Page 12

Self Deprecating Self Defe by Robyn Brown For example, when I made fun of my acne, I did not really believe that it meant anything about my self worth. When comparing people who reported using self-defeating with people who reported using more self-deprecating humour, I found that they differed in levels of self-esteem, with self-deprecating humour being associated with higher levels of self-esteem. Poking fun at myself is one of my favourite forms of humour. Having prescription glasses, an acne-ridden face, braces and scoring straight-A’s in high school, I soon realized I was never going to be one of the cool kids. But being able to make fun of my social shortcomings quickly became a tool that I So, on a conceptual level we could argue value. that these two forms of humour are indeed different. I wanted to further explore whethMuch of the existing research examining huer we, as an audience, are able to perceive mour aimed towards oneself has shown that this difference in self-esteem. To do this, I it is generally associated with lower self-espresented participants with a series of vidteem, reduced psychological wellbeing, and eo clips of stand-up comedy illustrating more negative mood. self-deprecating humour and self-defeating This is what Rod Martin and his colleagues humour, and asked them to rate the comecall self-defeating humour which is defined dian’s level of self-esteem and rate the funas the use of overly disparaging humour niness of the video. - allowing oneself to be the butt of others’ The findings showed that observers rated jokes and laughing at humour about oneself. the comedians using self-deprecating huBut is self-directed humour always consid- mour as having higher self-esteem than those using self-defeating humour. This ered unhealthy? means that when people see these two huIn my research I am examining another mour styles, they perceive something that kind of self-directed humour called self-dep- they use as a marker for self-esteem. Interrecating humour. This type of humour in- estingly, the self-defeating videos were ratvolves putting yourself down, but it is more ed as slightly more funny than the self-deplight-hearted because you don’t really be- recating comedians. lieve what you’re saying about yourself or if you do, it isn’t something that you are con- Comedians have become proficient users of self-directed humour, by putting themselves cerned about.