When the times get tough the toughs get funny: Means by which humor buffers against death anxiety emerged during COVID-19 outbreak

Michal Mahat-Shamir, Maya Kagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to Terror Management Theory (TMT), there are three common buffers that minimize the anxiety of mortality salience: affirmation of a) one’s cultural worldview, b) the self and one’s personal values, and c) one’s significance in the context of close personal relationships. The current study aimed at examining the contents of memes, which were distributed on social media during the COVID-19 outbreak, to explore the means by which humor buffers against death anxiety. A deductive and inductive thematic analysis captured three means by which humor buffers against death anxiety, a) humor as a means for connecting to cultural worldviews; b) humor as a means for inclusion in group; c) humor as a means to gain a sense of control. These findings are discussed through the theoretical lens of TMT.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0273338
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number8 August
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Mahat-Shamir, Kagan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'When the times get tough the toughs get funny: Means by which humor buffers against death anxiety emerged during COVID-19 outbreak'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this