Gelotophobia in Israel: On the assessment of the fear of being laughed at

Orly Sarid, Willibald Ruch, René T. Proyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gelotophobia is defined as the fear of being laughed at. Empirical studies revealed that it is a valid and useful concept which deserves further attention. Furthermore, gelotophobia is of relevance among nonclinical groups, and it should be best conceptualized as an individual differences phenomenon that ranges on a dimension from low to high fear of being laughed at. The present study presents the first empirical data on the fear of being laughed at in Israel (N = 220). It describes the adaptation of an instrument for the subjective assessment of gelotophobia to Hebrew. The translation yielded good psychometric properties in terms of high reliability (α =.89). The Hebrew-GELOPH<15> is best described with a one-dimensional factor solution. Items referring especially to the avoidance of places where one has made an embarrassing impression yielded higher endorsements. Gelotophobia was more prevalent among younger participants, females, and participants who were not in a relationship. Approximately 6% exceeded a cut-off score indicating at least a slight expression of gelotophobic symptoms. Results are discussed with respect to further application of the questionnaire in research and practice. If confirmed by additional studies it will have a significant implication on the understanding of gelotophobia in relation to social phobia and related phobias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Gelotophobia in Israel: On the assessment of the fear of being laughed at'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this