Understanding and Managing Emotions in Gelotophobia



Gelotophobia is a fear of ridicule, that manifests both as part of anxiety and depressive disorders, and independently. The study finds out whether some features of recognition and control of expression are limited to the area of positive emotions or manifest themselves in the regulation of other emotions with gelotophobia. The results of self-reporting and test methods for assessing the understanding of emotions, as well as direct and indirect measurements of the ability to control emotions, are compared, and an interference effect of alexithymia is controlled. In total 235 subjects took a part (Mage=17,95, SDage=1,78), among whom 181 female and 54 male students of the humanities answered questionnaires Emotional Intelligence (EI), Ways of coping (WCQ) of Lazarus, Questionnaire of Gelotophobia (GELOPH-15), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), attributional style questionnaire of Seligman) and did tests (Video Test of Lysin and Ovsyannikova, timing of emotion naming). Quantitative comparative analysis, correlation, and regression analysis were used. The results indicate that some characteristic properties of recognition and control of emotions associated with gelotophobia extend to some other emotions (sadness, but not fear and anger). The reduction in recognition and control of emotions in gelotophobia manifests only through self-reporting methods, while tests show minimal differences depending on gelotophobia grade and their derived character. The accuracy of recognition decreases with gelotophobia grade only when the recognition time is limited. The reduction of control manifests only in the rarer use of Avoidance coping, which is associated with a lower evaluation of the ability to control achieving success and avoiding failure by the individual. the conviction of the individual.

General Information

Keywords: gelotophobia, emotional intelligence, coping, attribution of success and failure style, emotions categorization, emotions recognition, expression control

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpse.2022110404

Received: 12.03.2022


For citation: Klimova K.K., Kravchenko Yu.E. Understanding and Managing Emotions in Gelotophobia [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 92–113. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2022110404. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Bityutskaya E. Obosnovanie i razrabotka russkoyazychnoi versii «Oprosnika sposobov kopingа» [Substantiation and elaboration of Russian language version of «Ways of Coping Questionnaire»]. Razvitie lichnosti = Development of Personality, 2014, no. 3, pp.187–208. URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/obosnovanie-i-razrabotka-russkoyazychnoy-versii-oprosnika-sposobov-kopinga/viewer (Accessed: 18.12.2022). (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.)
  2. Ivanova P.O., Ivanova E.M. Aprobatsiya russkoyazychnoi versii Oprosnika stsenariev druzhelyubnogo podshuchivaniya i agressivnogo vysmeivaniya (OSPV) T. Platt [Russian Approbation of the Ridicule Teasing Scenario Questionnaire (RTQ) of T. Platt]. Klinicheskaya i spetsial'naya psikhologiya = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2019, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 140–158. DOI:10.17759/cpse.2019080208. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)
  3. Lyusin D.V. Novaya metodika dlya izmereniya ehmotsional'nogo intellekta: Oprosnik EhMIn [A new technique for measuring emotional intelligence: The EmIn Questionnaire]. Psikhologicheskaya diagnostika = Psychological Diagnostics, 2006, no. 4, pp. 3–22. (In Russ.).
  4. Lyusin D.V. Ovsyannikova V.V. Izmerenie sposobnosti k raspoznavaniyu ehmotsii s pomoshch'yu videotesta [Video test for measuring emotions recognition]. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal = Psychological Journal, 2013, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 82–94. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.)
  5. Rudina L.M. Test na optimizm: Metod opredeleniya atributivnykh stilei: Metodicheskoe posobie [Optimism Test: Method for Determining Attributive Styles: A methodical guidelines]. V.M. Rusalov (ed.). Moscow: Nauka, 2002. 24 p. (In Russ.).
  6. Starostina Е.G., Taylor G.D., Quilty L.K. et al. Torontskaya shkala aleksitimii (20 punktov): Validizatsiya russkoyazychnoi versii na vyborke terapevticheskikh bol'nykh [A new 20-item version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale: Validation of the Russian language translation in a sample of medical patients]. Sotsial'naya i klinicheskaya psikhiatriya = Social and Clinical Psychiatry, 2010, vol. 20, pp. 31–38. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.)
  7. Stefanenko E.A., Ivanova E.M., Enikolopov S.N. et al. Diagnostika strakha vyglyadet' smeshnym: russkoyazychnaya adaptatsiya oprosnika gelotofobii [The fear of being laughed at diagnostics: Russian adaptation of Gelotophobia Questionnaire]. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal = Psychological Journal, 2011, vol. 32, № 2, pp. 94–108. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.)
  8. Brauer K., Proyer R., Ruch W. Extending the study of gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism in romantic life toward romantic attachment. Journal of Individual Differences, 2020, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 86–100. DOI: 10.1027/1614-0001/a000307
  9. Bruner J.S., Postman L. On the perception of incongruity: A paradigm. Journal of Personality, 1949, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 206–223. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1949.tb01241.x
  10. Canestrari C., Carrieri A., Del Moral G. et al. Do coping strategies and the degree of satisfaction with one’s social life and parental attachment modulate gelotophobia, gelotophilia and katagelasticism? A study on young Italian adults. Current Psychology, 2019. DOI: 10.1007/s12144-019-00417-4
  11. Folkman S., Lazarus R.S. If it changes it must be a process: Study of emotion and coping during three stages of a college examination. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1985, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 150–170. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.48.1.150
  12. Folkman S., Lazarus R.S., Dunkel-Schetter C. et al. Dynamics of a stressful encounter: Cognitive appraisal, coping, and encounter outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,1986, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 992–1003. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.50.5.992
  13. Papousek I., Ruch W., Freudenthaler H.H. et al. Gelotophobia, emotion-related skills and responses to the affective states of others. Personality and Individual Differences, 2009, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 58–63. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2009.01.047
  14. Papousek I., Schulter G., Rominger C. et al. The fear of other persons’ laughter: Poor neuronal protection against social signals of anger and aggression. Psychiatry Research, 2016, vol. 235, pp. 61–68. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.11.049
  15. Platt T. Emotional responses to ridicule and teasing: Should gelotophobes react differently? Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 2008, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 105–128. DOI: 10.1515/HUMOR.2008.005
  16. Proyer R.T., Hempelmann C.F., Ruch W. Were they really laughed at? That much? Gelotophobes and their history of perceived derisibility. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 2009, vol. 22, no. 1–2, pp. 213–231. DOI: 10.1515/HUMR.2009.010
  17. Proyer R.T., Ruch W. Enjoying and fearing laughter: Personality characteristics of gelotophobes, gelotophiles, and katagelasticists. Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 2010, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 148–160. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-34689.
  18. Ritter J., Brück C., Jacob H. et al. Laughter perception in social anxiety. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2015, vol. 60, pp. 178–184. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.09.021
  19. Rom E., Mikulincer M. Attachment theory and group processes: The association between attachment style and group-related representations, goals, memories, and functioning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2003, vol. 84, no. 6, pp. 1220–1235. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.6.1220
  20. Ruch W. Fearing humor? Gelotophobia: The fear of being laughed at Introduction and overview. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 2009, vol. 22, no. 1–2, pp. 1–25. DOI: 10.1515/humr.2009.001
  21. Ruch W., Altfreder O., Proyer R.T. How do gelotophobes interpret laughter in ambiguous situations? An experimental validation of the concept. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 2009, vol. 22, no. 1–2, pp. 63–89. DOI: 10.1515/HUMR.2009.004
  22. Ruch W., Platt T., Bruntsch R. et al. Evaluation of a picture-based test for the assessment of gelotophobia. Frontiers in Psychology, 2017, vol. 8, article 2043. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02043
  23. Ruch W., Proyer R.T. The fear of being laughed at: Individual and group differences in gelotophobia. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 2008, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 47–67. DOI: 10.1515/humor.2008.002
  24. Scherer K.R., Summerfield A.B., Wallbott H.G. Cross-national research on antecedents and components of emotion: A progress report. Social Science Information, 1983, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 355–385. DOI: 10.1177/053901883022003002
  25. Titze M. Gelotophobia: The fear of being laughed at. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 2009, vol. 22, no. 1–2, pp. 27–48. DOI: 10.1515/HUMR.2009.002
  26. Tottenham N., Tanaka J.W., Leon A.C. et al. The NimStim set of facial expressions: Judgments from untrained research participants. Psychiatry Research, 2009, vol. 168, no. 3, pp. 242–249. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2008.05.006
  27. Weiss E.M., Schulter G., Freudenthaler H.H. et al. Potential markers of aggressive behavior: The fear of other persons' laughter and its overlaps with mental disorders. PLoS ONE, 2012, vol. 7, no. 5, e38088. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038088

Information About the Authors

Kseniia K. Klimova, Postgraduate Student, Faculty of Psychology, Lecturer, Faculty of Psychology, Institute for Social Sciences, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2163-4996, e-mail: klimova-kk@ranepa.ru

Yunna E. Kravchenko, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3351-123X, e-mail: asunaro@mail.ru



Total: 498
Previous month: 23
Current month: 18


Total: 115
Previous month: 8
Current month: 2