Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety

Akram, Umair, Irvine, Kamila, Allen, Sarah F., Stevenson, Jodie C., Ellis, Jason and Drabble, Jennifer (2021) Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety. Scientific Reports, 11 (1). p. 22305. ISSN 2045-2322

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00857-8

Abstract

This study examined whether significantly anxious individuals differed from non-anxious individuals in their perceptual ratings of internet memes related to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst considering the mediating role of emotion regulation. Eighty individuals presenting clinically significant anxiety symptoms (indicating ≥ 15 on the GAD-7) and 80 non-anxious controls (indicating ≤ 4) rated the emotional valance, humour, relatability, shareability, and offensiveness of 45 Covid-19 internet memes. A measure of emotion regulation difficulties was also completed. The perception of humour, relatability, and shareability were all greater amongst anxious individuals relative to non-anxious controls. These differences were not mediated by emotion regulation deficits. Internet memes related to the current Covid-19 pandemic may tentatively serve as coping mechanism for individuals experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anxiety, human behaviour
Subjects: C800 Psychology
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 17:05
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2021 17:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47938

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