A simple definition of humor is that it is anything that evokes laughter or smiling. Humor is a complex communication construct comprised of cognitive, affective, and behavioral elements. Humor has been studied extensively by health communication researchers from a variety of academic fields for its positive and negative effects on variables such as mental and physical health, job satisfaction, burnout, learning, and overall perceptions of health care delivery. The bulk of the humor and health research focuses on how humor benefits sources and receivers.

Health communication researchers study humor from both source and receiver perspectives. Researchers who study humor from a source approach typically focus on the benefits derived from enacting humorous verbal or nonverbal messages. Source perspectives often explore communication traits or characteristics associated with ...

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