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Positive association between Agreeableness and affiliative and self-enhancing humour

1. The first hypothesis will aim at testing the relationship between agreeableness and the four styles of humour. Individuals who have reported cases of mental instability are said to have high scores of negative humour styles such as the aggressive and self-defeating humour(Veselka, Schermer, Martin, & Vernon, 2010). In this case, we can presume that individuals with high level of agreeableness have lower levels of aggressive humour and vice versa. The agreeableness character of personality is positively correlated with the well-being of persons. Therefore, it is assumed that people who accept their status are more likely to have affiliative humour in contrast to being aggressive.  

a. Null hypothesis: There is no association between agreeableness and affiliative humour.

Alternative hypothesis: There is a significant positive association between agreeableness and affiliative humour.

b. Null hypothesis: There is no association between agreeableness and self-enhancing humour.

Alternative hypothesis: There is significant positive association between agreeableness and self-enhancing humour.

c. Null hypothesis: There is no association between agreeableness and aggressive humour.

Alternative hypothesis: There is a significant negative association between agreeableness and aggressive humour.

d. Null hypothesis: There is no significant association between agreeableness and self-defeating humour.

Alternative hypothesis: There is a significant negative association between agreeableness and self-defeating humour.

2. The relationship between chronotype and affiliative & self-enhancing humour. This hypothesis aims to test the relationship between being an ‘early riser’ or ‘later riser’ and having affiliative and/or self-enhancing humour. In a study conducted in German involving university students, it was found that women who were related to Eveningness had higher scores of humour than those in the Morningness group(Randler, 2008). Based on Randler’s evidence, we can develop a hypothesis to test the relationship between Morningness-Eveningness and positive humour.

a. Null hypothesis: There is no significant association between chronotype (Morningness-Eveningness) and affiliative humour.

Alternative hypothesis: There is a significant positive association between chronotype (Morningness-Eveningness) and affiliative humour.

b. Null hypothesis: There is no association between chronotype and self-enhancing humour.

Alternative hypothesis: There is a significant positive association between chronotype and self-enhancing humour.

c. There is no relationship between chronotype and aggressive humour.

There is a significant positive association between chronotype and aggressive humour.

d. There is no relationship between chronotype and self-defeating humour

There is a significant positive association between chronotype and self-defeating humour.

The average score of agreeableness for Australian sample of 270 participants was 42.14 with a standard deviation of 4.619. This shows that the data on agreeableness was not so much spread from the mean value.

Negative association between Agreeableness and aggressive humour

Table 1: Pearson's correlation between Agreeableness and Affiliative Humour

Correlations

Agreeableness

Affiliative Humour

Agreeableness

Pearson Correlation

1

.277**

Sig. (1-tailed)

.000

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

5739.930

1877.670

Covariance

21.338

6.980

N

270

270

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed).

According to table 1, the positive correlation between agreeableness and affiliative humour is statistically significant at 95% confidence level with a p-value <0.001.  

Table 2: Pearson's correlation between Agreeableness and Self-enhancing humour

Correlations

Agreeableness

Self-Enhancing Humour

Agreeableness

Pearson Correlation

1

.300**

Sig. (1-tailed)

.000

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

5739.930

2878.111

Covariance

21.338

10.699

N

270

270

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed).

There is a statistically significant correlation between agreeableness and self-enhancing humour with a p-value <0.001. The covariance coefficient between agreeableness and self-enhancing humour is 10.699 indicating that as the agreeableness scores increases, so does the self-enhancing humour scores.

Table 3: Pearson's correlation test between Agreeableness and Aggressive humour

Correlations

Agreeableness

Aggressive Humour

Agreeableness

Pearson Correlation

1

-.399**

Sig. (1-tailed)

.000

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

5739.930

-3427.844

Covariance

21.338

-12.743

N

270

270

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed).

According to table 3 above, the negative correlation between agreeableness and aggressive humour is very significant at 95% confidence level with a p-value <0.001.

Table 4: Pearson's correlation test between Agreeableness and Aggressive humour

Correlations

Agreeableness

Self-Defeating Humour

Agreeableness

Pearson Correlation

1

-.078

Sig. (1-tailed)

.101

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

5739.930

-729.048

Covariance

21.338

-2.710

N

270

270

The Pearson’s test of correlation between agreeableness and self-defeating is not statistically significant at 95% confidence level (p-value – 0.101).  

On average, Australian students have a score of 4.29 chronotype score, with a standard deviation of 1.79. They also have an average score of 41.06 for the Affiliative humour with a standard deviation of 5.46. The Pearson’s correlation test between self-rated chronotype and affiliative humour is not statistically significant (p-value = 0.06). The Pearson’s correlation coefficient is 0.095, indicating a very weak positive relationship between Morningness-Eveningness and Affiliative humour.  

Table 5: Pearson's correlation test between Self-rated chronotype and Affiliative Humour

Correlations

Self-rated chronotype

Affiliative Humour

Self-rated chronotype

Pearson Correlation

1

.095

Sig. (1-tailed)

.060

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

861.885

249.026

Covariance

3.204

.926

N

270

270

The covariance between self-rated chronotype and Affiliative Humour is 0.926, indicating that the score from both variables tends to increase together.

Table 6: Pearson's correlation test between Self-rated chronotype and Self-enhancing Humour

Correlations

Self-rated chronotype

Self-Enhancing Humour

Self-rated chronotype

Pearson Correlation

1

-.035

Sig. (1-tailed)

.282

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

861.885

-131.222

Covariance

3.204

-.488

N

270

270

On average, the Australian university students have a self-enhancing humour rate of 36.89 with a standard deviation of 7.729. According to table 4 above, the Pearson’s correlation test is not statistically significant (p-value = 0.282). However, the Pearson’s correlation coefficient between the two variables (chronotype and Self-enhancing humour) is -0.035. The covariance score is -0.488 showing that as the value of self-rated chronotype reduces, so does the self-enhancing humour rate.

Table 7: Pearson's correlation between Chronotype and Aggressive Humour

Correlations

Self-rated chronotype

Aggressive Humour

Self-rated chronotype

Pearson Correlation

1

.207**

Sig. (1-tailed)

.000

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

861.885

691.089

Covariance

3.204

2.569

N

270

270

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed).

There is a statistically significant correlation between self-rated chronotype and aggressive humour at 95% confidence level with a p-value of <0.001 and a coefficient of 0.207.

Table 8: Pearson's correlation test between Chronotype and Self-defeating Humour

Correlations

Self-rated chronotype

Self-Defeating Humour

Self-rated chronotype

Pearson Correlation

1

.129*

Sig. (1-tailed)

.017

Sum of Squares and Cross-products

861.885

467.330

Covariance

3.204

1.737

N

270

270

*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed).

The correlation between self-rated chronotype and self-defeating humour is statistically significant at 95% confidence level with a p-value of 0.017 and a coefficient of 0.129.

Styles humour are very useful in enhancing people’s relationships. There are positive and negative styles of humour which have different effects on the life of a person depending on their usage. Average self-defeating humour improves the strength of relationships by reducing personal status and making people more approachable(Romero & Cruthirds, 2006). Based on the Australian sample, the participants had an average score of self-defeating humour of 30.51, which approximately moderate. Since their self-defeating score was not so high, that is the reason the negative association with agreeableness was not very high. On the other side, aggressive humour is usually used to “belittle, victimize, and disparage others” – Romero & Cruthirds (2006). In this case, individuals reporting to have this character will most probably have low levels of agreeableness, hence the reason why the hypothesis test emerged to be significant.

Positive association between chronotype and all humour styles except for self-defeating humour

Previous research has proved relationships between negative humour and low level of self-esteem, agreeableness and being open among many other positives characters of personality(Martin, Puhlik-Doris, Larsen, Gray, & Weir, 2003). According to Martin et al. (2003), male participants report more cases of aggressive and self-defeating characters of humour compared to their female counterparts. The dataset used in this study has more 70% participants being female, which might affect the significance of self-defeating humour with Agreeableness. This is because females are more, which could affect the distribution of the data – hence the statistics.

A moderate negative correlation between Agreeableness and Aggressive humour was obtained in the test. This indicates that there is a substantial effect of the character of individuals with aggressive humour and agreeableness. The hypotheses testing the relationship between Agreeableness and Affiliative, self-enhancing & Aggressive humour were statistically significant. P-values below 0.001 were obtained for the three tests. These findings coincide with the findings of Veselka et al. (2010), who conducted a study on the correlations between humour styles and personality types. Their study reported that participants with high scores on sub-clinical psychopathy showed greater levels of negative humour styles. Therefore, we can confidently say that having high negative humour styles would lead to the development of low agreeableness personality or vice versa.

Self-defeating humour is correlated with having an aggressive style of humour. Therefore, we could expect the similar relationship between agreeableness and self-defeating humour. Pearson’s test of correlations conducted to determine the association between these two variables returned a p-value of 0.101. This was far above the significance level of the test, hence failing to reject the hypothesis and concluding that there is not enough evidence to state that agreeableness and self-defeating humour are related. This was in support of the findings of Martin et al. (2003), who proved elevated levels of negative humour among males, although he did not contact specific association tests between these variables. We could expect individuals with high agreeableness scores to have low scores of self-defeating humour which is a negative personality trait. However, out data did not provide enough evidence to prove that individuals with high scores on self-defeating will turn up being poor in agreeableness personality. However, based on the correlation coefficient, there is a weak association between being an agreeable person and having self-defeating character.

According to Janes and Olsen (2000), affiliative humour is associated with making jokes and engaging on funny characteristics to enhance the strength of relationships. Also, they use this type of humour to manage stress and depression. Individuals with such personalities are associated with high levels of self-esteem and happiness(Janes & Olson, 2000). Previous research has shown that people who wake up early in the morning are more stable than those who wake late, hence differences in the levels of positive humour(DeYoung, Hasher, Djikic, Criger, & Peterson, 2007).  Other studies have also shown the inverse is correct, hence concluding that individuals who wake up late are more active, productive and have a higher score of positive humour than their counterparts(Randler, 2008). Based on these studies, it is not clear which group of people have higher levels of positive humour. According to our analysis, the two hypothesis aiming at testing the relationship between chronotype and positive humour have turned to be insignificant at 95% confidence level. On the other side, tests between negative humour and self-rated chronotype were statistically significant with p-value <0.001 for the aggressive humour and 0.017 for the self-enhancing humour.

Based on the analysis, correlation between self-rated chronotype and affiliative humour is weak. Also, the analysis reported a covariance of 0.926. Therefore, we can say that self-rated chronograph is directly proportional to affiliative humour score. In this case, it is expected that as self-rated chronotype score increases and so does the affiliative humour score. Based on the p-value obtained from the analysis (p-value – 0.06), we do not reject the null hypothesis. Therefore, we conclude that there is not enough evidence to prove the correlation between self-rated chronotype and affiliative humour. Also, the p-value for the correlation test between self-rated chronotype was greater than 0.05 (p-value – 0.282), hence concluding that there is no association between Morningness-Eveningness and self-enhancing humour. In addition, the analysis reported a weak negative correlation between Morningness-Eveningness and self-enhancing humour.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we state that Agreeableness is negatively correlated to aggressive humour with a correlation coefficient of -0.399. Affiliative and self-enhancing humour styles are positively correlated with agreeableness with correlation coefficients of 0.277 and 0.3 respectively. This association is statistically significant at 95% confidence level. The correlation test between self-defeating and agreeableness is not statistically significant. There was no statistically significant relationship between Morningness-Eveningness and positive humour based on the Australian sample. However, negative humour styles have significant positive correlations with Morningness-Eveningness.

References

DeYoung, C. G., Hasher, L., Djikic, M., Criger, B., & Peterson, J. B. (2007). Morning people are stable people: Circadian rhythm and the higher-order factors of the Big Five. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(2), 267–276.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2006.11.030

Janes, L. M., & Olson, J. M. (2000). Jeer Pressure: The Behavioral Effects of Observing Ridicule of Others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(4), 474–485. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167200266006

Martin, R. A., Puhlik-Doris, P., Larsen, G., Gray, J., & Weir, K. (2003). Individual differences in uses of humour and their relation to psychological well-being: Development of the humour styles questionnaire. Journal of Research in Personality.

https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-6566(02)00534-2

Randler, C. (2008). Evening types among German university students score higher on a sense of humour after controlling for Big Five personality factors. Psychological Reports, 103(2), 361–370. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.103.2.361-370

Romero, E. J., & Cruthirds, K. W. (2006). The use of humour in the workplace. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 34(3), 18–30. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMR.2006.261378

Veselka, L., Schermer, J. A., Martin, R. A., & Vernon, P. A. (2010). Relations between humour styles and the Dark Triad traits of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(6), 772–774. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2010.01.017

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