Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Randolph Arnau

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Bradley Green

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research


Martin’s (2003) Humor Styles Questionnaire measures four distinct styles of humor usage. However, examining these humor styles individually fails to account for the combination with which they are used as well as how these combinations may affect the relationship between humor and personality. The present study examined relationships of the humor styles, both individually and in combination, with a broad array of maladaptive personality traits. The incremental validity of accounting for the combinations with which the humor styles are used was examined through the use of hierarchical multiple regressions. Results demonstrated that the humor styles, both individually and in combination, exhibited strong relationships with the measured personality traits, and the directions of these relationships supported the conceptualization of the humor styles as adaptive versus maladaptive. Accounting for combinations of humor style use accounted for a statistically significant amount of variance above and beyond that explained by the humor styles individually for 11 of the 33 personality traits measures. Further, results of the present study suggest that the introduction of adaptive humor use for individuals who utilize primarily maladaptive humor can serve to cancel out the negative effects of maladaptive humor. Therefore, the present study demonstrates that adaptive humor use may serve as a buffer against the negative effects of maladaptive humor use.