Gibson, Daniel G
Seniors in an assisted living home watched donated comedy skits. They 1) laughed during each of 6 sessions, 2) completed surveys to rank & recommend skits, 3) actively participated in discussions, 4) attended regularly, and 5) felt good about contributing to research. Based on these criteria, the humor program was considered a success. Surprisingly, seniors 1) did not laugh at comedy they grew up with and remembered as funny and 2) laughed at skits they later alleged to be "offensive." Successful humor programs can rely on a trial-&-error approach and need not be expensive, complex, or labor-intensive. Finally, those who believe in the benefits of laughter should not be afraid to develop a humor program as long as the sponsoring organization is supportive.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Interactive Qualifying Project
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Biology and Biotechnology