About this Research Topic
The emergence of Positive Psychology has contributed to the identification of many of the components leading to happiness, life satisfaction, well-being, and how a good life can be attained. This impetus has brought together many diverse research fields that have been established for a long while in their own right, one of those being the study of humor/playfulness, which is seen as a strength of character. However, this raises the question about the conceptual boundaries of concepts such as humor, cheerfulness, or playfulness: Where do they overlap and how are they distinct? At the same time there is the danger of overlooking their non-virtuous facets; that is, laughter may not only be expressing amusement but scorn directed at people, humor may be benevolent but there is also sarcasm, and playfulness may elicit positive emotions but also risk prone and immature types of behavior.
Therefore, the aim of this Research Topic is to collect current perspectives on humor, playfulness, laughter, and cheerfulness in both adults and children, to study their full diversity but also interrelations and overlapping features, to introduce new instruments or ways for their assessment in future studies, and to study their causes and consequences in a variety of life domains. We will also welcome contributions from adjacent disciplines (e.g., education, leisure studies, or therapy/counseling) for a multidisciplinary perspective (but assure that all contributions fit the scope of the Research Topic and the journal) and aim for diverse contributions, not only from Western countries, but also other regions.
This Research Topic will focus on all article types that put forward findings (but are not limited to) regarding:
• Studies on the conceptualization, classification and dimensionality of humor, laughter, cheerfulness, and playfulness
• Identification of their components
• Studies on the relations (i.e., overlap and differences) among humor, laughter, cheerfulness, and playfulness
• Development and validation of instruments for their assessment
• Studies on their proximal and distal antecedences and consequences
• Studies on their development throughout the lifespan
• Studies on their training and malleability
• Studies on phylogenetic origins and their neural bases
• Humor and laughter, cheerfulness and playfulness as promoter of happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being
• Their relevance in different domains, such as health, workplace, education, partnership, etc.
Keywords: Humor, Laughter, Cheerfulness, Playfulness, Assessment