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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02255

Assessing the Temperamental Basis of the Sense of Humor: Adaptation of the English Language Version of the State-Trait Cheerfulness Inventory Long and Standard Form

  • 1Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2Universidad de Granada, Spain
  • 3University of Central Oklahoma, United States

The State-Trait Model of Cheerfulness assesses the temperamental basis of the sense of humor with the traits and respective states of cheerfulness, seriousness, and bad mood. While trait cheerfulness accounts for 90% of the variance in frequently used sense of humor questionnaires and explains both, the disposition to engaging in smiling and laughter, as well as humor behaviors, trait seriousness and bad mood are antagonistic to the elicitation of amusement (albeit for different reasons). Several studies have shown the validity and reliability of the STCI questionnaire in German and other language versions (i.e., Spanish). In this study, the English language version with 106 items (STCI-T<106>) was translated, checked for its item and scale characteristics, and tested with a confirmatory factor analysis approach (N = 1101) to investigate the factorial validity of the STCI-T<106> scale. Results show good psychometric characteristics, good internal consistencies, and a fit to the postulated underlying structure of the STCI-T. Then, the standard form with 60 items (STCI-T<60>) was developed and the psychometric characteristics initially tested. In an independent sample (N = 169), the characteristics of the standard form were compared to the parent form and German equivalent. It showed good psychometric characteristics, internal consistencies, as well as a good self- and peer-report congruence. To conclude, the STCI-T<106> is the measure of choice for the assessment of the temperamental basis of the sense of humor and the separate facets of the traits, while the standard form (60 items) allows of an economic assessment of cheerfulness, seriousness, and bad mood, free of context-saturated items and humor preferences.

Keywords: Bad mood, STCI, Cheerfulness, Humor, sense of humor model, Seriousness, questionnaire

Received: 19 Jul 2018; Accepted: 30 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

René T. Proyer, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Reviewed by:

Jason S. Wrench, SUNY New Paltz, United States
William L. Ventis, College of William & Mary, United States
Danny Hinton, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2018 Hofmann, Carretero-Dios and Carrell. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Jennifer Hofmann, University of Zurich, Psychology, Zürich, 8050, Switzerland, j.hofmann@psychologie.uzh.ch