Psychometric Comparisons of Benevolent and Corrective Humor across 22 Countries: The virtue gap in humor goes international

Sonja Heintz*, Willibald Ruch, Tracey Platt, Dandan Pang, Hugo Carretero-Dios, Alberto Dionigi, Catalina Argüello Gutiérrez, Ingrid Brdar, Dorota Brzozowska, Hsueh Chih Chen, Wladyslaw Chlopicki, Matthew Collins, Róbert Durka, Najwa Y. El Yahfoufi, Angélica Quiroga-Garza, Robert B. Isler, Andrés Mendiburo-Seguel, Tamil Selvan Ramis, Betül Saglam, Olga V. ShcherbakovaKamlesh Singh, Ieva Stokenberga, Peter S.O. Wong, Jorge Torres-Marín

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, two forms of virtue-related humor, benevolent and corrective, have been introduced. Benevolent humor treats human weaknesses and wrongdoings benevolently, while corrective humor aims at correcting and bettering them. Twelve marker items for benevolent and corrective humor (the BenCor) were developed, and it was demonstrated that they fill the gap between humor as temperament and virtue. The present study investigates responses to the BenCor from 25 samples in 22 countries (overall N = 7,226). The psychometric properties of the BenCor were found to be sufficient in most of the samples, including internal consistency, unidimensionality, and factorial validity. Importantly, benevolent and corrective humor were clearly established as two positively related, yet distinct dimensions of virtue-related humor. Metric measurement invariance was supported across the 25 samples, and scalar invariance was supported across six age groups (from 18 to 50+ years) and across gender. Comparisons of samples within and between four countries (Malaysia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK) showed that the item profiles were more similar within than between countries, though some evidence for regional differences was also found. This study thus supported, for the first time, the suitability of the 12 marker items of benevolent and corrective humor in different countries, enabling a cumulative cross-cultural research and eventually applications of humor aiming at the good.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
Pages (from-to)92
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberFEB
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Heintz, Ruch, Platt, Pang, Carretero-Dios, Dionigi, Argüello Gutiérrez, Brdar, Brzozowska, Chen, Chlopicki, Collins, Durka, Yahfoufi, Quiroga-Garza, Isler, Mendiburo-Seguel, Ramis, Saglam, Shcherbakova, Singh, Stokenberga, Wong and Torres-Marín.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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