Inducing amusement in the laboratory and its moderation by experiential approach

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Abernathy, Danette
Zettle, Robert D.

Abernathy, D., & Zettle, R. D. (2022). Inducing Amusement in the Laboratory and Its Moderation by Experiential Approach. Psychological Reports, 125(4), 2213–2231.


The relative ability of four comedic sketches to induce amusement in the laboratory and its moderation by dispositional differences in experiential approach as a form of positive emotion regulation were investigated. College student participants reported significant and equivalent diminished levels of negative affect relative to baseline following each sketch, while the level of positive affect induced by The Office exceeded that elicited by two of the three other sketches as well as by a topranked French comedic film clip. Regression models indicated that the two subscales of the Experiential Approach Scale and their interaction accounted for significant variability in negative mood reductions following the sketches. Unexpectedly, college student participants who enjoyed the greatest decrement in negative affect reported a regulation style in which anxiously clinging to positive emotions dominates over sustaining and savoring them. The limitations of this project and implications of its findings for laboratory inductions of amusement, as well as further investigations of its possible moderation by experiential approach as form of positive emotion regulation are discussed.

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