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Ruch Hofmann

Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Psychologisches Institut » Persönlichkeitspsychologie und Diagnostik » Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch » Ruch Hofmann

Completed research project

Title / Titel Humorous interactions in hospitals and homes
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Over the past 40 years international organisations such as the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humour (AATH) or the well known Gesundheit!Institute have contributed to the promotion of the holistic approach to medical care which has been developed with the ideology that laughter, joy and creativity are important in healing people. Since the idea was pioneered it has led to various programmes, such as clowns in hospitals, humor professionals in homes for the elderly, or doing house calls. Research is very sparse, but so far scientific endorsement of this approach has shown the presence of clowns can reduce anxiety in hospital settings. However, studies have also run into methodological difficulties, when measuring emotional state changes, especially in patients who can be tense or anxious through the very nature of old age or dementia. The aim of the present research project is to investigate four main research questions: 1) What are the personal factors that make a clown a good clown? 2) What changes happen within the audience during a clown intervention and how long do changes last? 3) What variations in clown/humour interventions exist and how can enjoyment and pleasure be measured (subjectively and objectively)? 4) What are the contributions from and effects on the institutional level? Positive psychology has put forward the concept of “positive institutions” which are ones that support positive emotions and focus on character strengths that foster better communities. Are hospitals with humour professionals positive institutions as humor and clowning may add to the overall wellbeing of their residents? To investigate how humour is used in the service of humanity the research team will collaborate with humor practitioners and institutions such as the Rote Nasen Verein Österreich, the Alters- und Pflegeheim Moosmatt and Clown Wieni, the foundation Humor Hilft Heilen, the ev. Johanneswerk, Clowns Kontakt.
Publications / Publikationen Auerbach, S., Hofmann, J., Platt, T., & Ruch, W. (2014). An investigation of the emotions elicited by hospital clowns in comparison to circus clowns and nursing staff. European Journal of Humour Research, 1(3), 26-54.

Dionigi, A., Ruch, W., & Platt, T. (2014). Components and determinants of the shift between the own persona and the clown persona: A hierarchical analysis. European Journal of Humour Research, 1 (4), 58-80.

Hofmann, J. (2015). Humor- wo er nährt und wo er stört [Where it nurtures and where it is inappropriate]. Schulblatt Thurgau, 6, 7 – 11.

Hofmann J., & Ruch, W. (2014). Lachforschung? Ist das ein Witz? Neue Entwicklungen in der ernsthaften Forschung zum Lachen. [Laughter research? Is this a joke? New developments in the serious research on laughter]. DIE FURCHE, 29(1), 4-5.

Hofmann, J., Ruch, W., Platt, T, & Auerbach, S. (2014). Humor als Ressource im Alter: Zur Fähigkeit, über sich selber lachen zu können. [Humor as a resource in old age: About the ability to laugh at oneself] ProAlter, 4(1), 49-51.

Hofmann J., & Ruch, W. (2014). Lachforschung? Ist das ein Witz? Neue Entwicklungen in der ernsthaften Forschung zum Lachen. [Laughter research? Is this a joke? New developments in the serious research on laughter]. DIE FURCHE, 29(1), 4-5.

Proyer, R. T., Ruch, W., & Rodden, F. A. (2012). First things first! Caveats in research on “Laughter Yoga”. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27, 873-874. doi:10.1002/gps.2793

Ruch, W., Hofmann, J., & Proyer, R. (2014). Ein Überblick über Forschung zu Humor und deren Anwendung: Ein Forschungsthema ohne Altersbeschränkung. Seniorenreport der Landesseniorenvertretung Thüringen, 19(3), 8–10.

Ruch, W., & McGhee, P. E. (2014). Humor intervention programs. In A. C. Parks, & S. M. Schueller (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychological Interventions (pp. 197-193). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ruch, W. & Müller, L. (2009). Wenn Heiterkeit Therapie wird. Geriatrie Praxis Österreich, 3, 22-24.

Ruch, W., Platt, T., & Hofmann, J. (2014). The character strengths of class clowns. Frontiers in Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01075

Ruch, W., Platt, T., & Hofmann, J. (2014). The character strengths of class clowns. Frontiers in Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 1057. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01075
Hofmann, J., Ruch, W., Platt, T, & Auerbach, S. (2014). Humor als Ressource im Alter: Zur Fähigkeit, über sich selber lachen zu können. [Humor as a resource in old age: About the ability to laugh at oneself] ProAlter, 4(1), 49-51.

Ruch, W., Rodden, F. A., & Proyer, R. T. (2011). Humor and other positive interventions in medical and therapeutic settings. In B. Kirkcaldy (Ed.), The Art and Science of Health Care: Psychology and Human Factors for Practitioners (pp. 277-294). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe Publishers.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe clown, interaction, humour, elderly, FACS
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch (Project Leader) w.ruch@psychologie.uzh.ch
Dr. Tracey Platt, PhD t.platt@psychologie.uzh.ch
Dr. Jennifer Hofmann, PhD (Project Leader) j.hofmann@psychologie.uzh.ch
Other links to external web pages http://www.humorcare.ch
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Foundation, Others, No project-specific funding
Humor Hilft HeilenStiftung "Humor und Gesundheit" (contribution towards publication costs)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Clown Wieni (Dhani Heiniger)
Alters- und Pflegeheim Moosmatt (Killian Ruckstuhl, Heimleitung)
Switzerland
Dr .Alberto Dionigi
University of Macerata
Italy
Sarah Auerbach
Hochschule Luzern
Switzerland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jan 2011 to Nov 2018