• The state-of-the art in gelotophobia research: A review and some theoretical extensions

      Ruch, Willibald; Hofmann, Jennifer; Platt, Tracey; Proyer, René (De Gruyter Mouton, 2014-01-01)
      Abstract Research on gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at) has come a long way since the first empirical studies published in 2008. Based on a review of the findings on gelotophobia, its structure, causes and consequences, updates to the model are introduced emphasizing the context of the fear and its dynamic nature. More precisely, external and internal factors are seen to moderate the effects of initial events on gelotophobia, and a spiral nature in the development of the fear is assumed. It is highlighted that gelotophobia needs to be studied in the context of related variables (such as timidity, shame-proneness and social anxiety), and research should focus on the time span in which this fear is most prevalent. The relevance of gelotophobia for humor theory, research and practice is highlighted and new areas of research are introduced. Among the latter the role of gelotophobia at work and in relation to life trajectories is discussed.