The Use of Humor to Alleviate Acute Stress in Undergraduate Adults

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Mosburg, Connor
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Stress is a familiar feeling for college students, and an unresolved build-up of acute stress events can lead to chronic stress and disease development. This informs the importance of intervention and the researcher’s goal was to focus on performing arts intervention to stress, specifically with comedy. Although current research displays a need for development and further study regarding comedy as a form of stress relief, the incorporation of comedy has demonstrated significance in decreasing negative feelings of stress. In this study, researchers conducted an experiment with 79 undergraduate students, measuring self-reported levels of positive and negative affectivity (PA and NA) at baseline, after completing a stress task, and after viewing either a comedy or control video. The findings demonstrated significance in the area of PA and that students’ overall positive feelings increased within the time of the experiment after watching a recording of a comedy performance following a stress task.