The Use of Humor by Pediatric Dentists

Ofra Nevo, Joseph Shapira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Pediatric dentists have suggested several behavioral techniques for alleviating anxiety of children in their clinic. Until now there has been no report of the use of humor in dental settings, even though it has been found effective in reducing anxiety. A sample of pediatric dentists was interviewed and observed in order to study their use of humor. It was found that dentists use humor in a consistent way in accordance with the systematic desen-sitization model. Dentists create a playful-humorous atmosphere using verbal and nonverbal cues. They produce humorous bisocia-tions, incongruities, rhymes, absurdities, exaggerations and puns. Their humor serves several functions: social, emotional, cognitive, informational, and motivational.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHumor and Children’s Development
Subtitle of host publicationA Guide to Practical Applications
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781317839934
ISBN (Print)9780866566810
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1989 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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