Assessing the fear of being laughed at (gelotophobia): First evaluation of the Danish GELOPH<15>

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Abstract

Gelotophobia is defined as the fear of being laughed at. Recent empirical studies revealed that it is a valid and useful new concept also in the realm of normality. Furthermore, it was shown that it should be best conceptualized as a one-dimensional individual difference phenomenon ranging from no fear to extreme fear of being laughed at. The present study presents empirical data on the fear of being laughed at in Denmark (N = 247). It describes the adaptation of the standard instrument for the subjective assessment of gelotophobia to Danish. The translation yielded good psychometric properties in terms of a high internal consistency of the items (α = .84) and the factorial structure (one-dimensional solution) was highly similar to findings with the original instrument. Gelotophobia was more prevalent among younger participants, males, and participants that were currently in a relationship. The application of cut-off scores in the questionnaire that indicate different levels of gelotophobia indicated that a low number of participants in the sample (< 2%) were gelotophobes. Therefore, fearing to be laughed at does not seem to be prevalent in the everyday life of Danes. Nevertheless, gelotophobia might be more prevalent among specific groups (e.g., victims of bullying).

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