Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 21:03:43



Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2022


Cognitive distortion is an error in thinking believed to increase susceptibility to depression (Burns, 1980; Dozois & Beck, 2008). Research shows Affiliative and Self-Enhancing humor styles are associated with less cognitive distortion, while Aggressive and Self-Defeating humor styles are associated with greater cognitive distortion (Rnic et al., 2016). The current study examines those relationships and extends the research by examining whether coping humor and self-confidence relate to humor styles and cognitive distortion. 210 college students took the Humor Styles Questionnaire, the Cognitive Distortions Questionnaire, the Coping Humor Scale, and the Internal and External Self-Confidence Scales. The maladaptive humor styles were associated with cognitive distortion, but the adaptive humor styles had no relationship. Self-confidence was related to lower cognitive distortion and lower Self-Defeating humor. The results implied that coping humor may have no role in participants’ cognitive distortion, self-confidence, or humor style. Participants scored higher on the Cognitive Distortions Questionnaire in comparison with participants from a previous study possibly due to being in a pandemic where there are unprecedented levels of stress. Future studies could look for causal relationships, which could enable psychologists to identify what is helping and hindering dysfunctional thinking styles and design interventions/therapy to address distorted thinking.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Jennifer Tehan Stanley

First Reader

Ginelle Wolfe

Second Reader

Dr. Charles Waehler

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Charles Waehler



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