Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Aurora Torres

Committee Member

Eric Seemann

Committee Member

Sandra Carpenter


Stress (Psychology), Wit and humor--Therapeutic use., Listening.


The current experiment examined how humor influences the effects of stress induced by mental workload. Participants completed a Modified Listening Span task (MLS) that was chosen to induce mental workload and measure working memory capacity. Participants also viewed a series of neutral and positive images, one of three videos, completed a workload measure before and after the MLS, and pulse wave amplitude readings were collected throughout the experiment. Participants reported higher workload ratings following completion of the MLS, demonstrating an increased mental workload. Subjective stress ratings and PWA readings were higher following the completion of the MLS, illustrating an increase in subjective and physiological stress. The humor video elicited a decrease in subjective stress when compared to the other two video conditions, indicating that the humor video decreased perceived stress. The obtained results suggest that the presentation of humor has the ability to alleviate induced stress.



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