Humor styles influence the perception of depression-related internet memes in depression

Gardner, Kathryn Jane orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638, Jabs, Nicola-Maria, Drabble, Jennifer and Akram, Umair (2021) Humor styles influence the perception of depression-related internet memes in depression. International Journal of Humor Research (HUMOR) . ISSN 0933-1719

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symptom normalisation, research highlights possible benefits of depressive internet memes for depressed individuals. We examined whether individuals experiencing depressive symptoms would differ from controls in their interpretation of internet memes related to depression, whilst incorporating the mediating role of humour style. N=78 individuals with self-reported depressive symptoms (24 on CES-D) and 67 controls (23) rated the emotional valance, humour, relatability, shareability, and mood-improving potential of 32 depressive and control memes (depicting neutral/positive social commentaries). Measures of depression and humour style were also completed. Perceived humour, relatability, shareability and mood-improving potential of depressive, but not control, memes were greater amongst individuals displaying depressive symptoms. However, differential ratings of humour, shareability and relatability were mediated by the extent of ones self-defeating humour style. These outcomes further evidence benefits of interacting with depression-related internet memes for those with depression.

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