Gelotophobia, Gelotophiles, and Katagelasticists in Patients with Depression



The article presents a study of gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at) for depression. 32 patients with depressive syndrome and 33 mentally healthy people were examined with a complex of methods: clinical interview, the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, gelotophobia, gelotophilia and katagelasticism questionnaire the PhoPhiKat<30>, the Guilt and Shame Proneness scale (GASP), the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire. The results showed higher gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at) in patients with depressive syndrome in comparison with the control group, and, on the other hand, lower gelotophilia (the joy of being a target of laughter) and katagelasticism (the joy of laughing at others). No differences on gelotophobia were found in the subgroups of patients with depression within schizophrenia and affective disorders. Gelotophobia under depression was closely connected with social anxiety and the fear of negative evaluation, but was not associated with aggression. Although depression includes experiencing both guilt and shame, gelotophobia characterized only those patients who tended to experience shame. The results of the study allow to reveal specifics of the fear of being laughed at under depression, which may be used in clinical diagnostics and psycho-rehabilitation of these patients.

General Information

Keywords: laughter, fear of being laughed at, gelotophobia, gelotophilia, katagelasticism, depression, affective disorders

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Lubavskaya A.A., Oleichik I., Ivanova E.M. Gelotophobia, Gelotophiles, and Katagelasticists in Patients with Depression [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2018. Vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 119–134. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2018070307. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Anastasia A. Lubavskaya, Junior Researcher, Department of Medical Psychology, Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Igor Oleichik, Doctor of Medicine, Chief Researcher of the Department of Endogenous Mental Disorders and Affective States Studies, Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Elena M. Ivanova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Senior Researcher, Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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