Positive emotional states and enhancement of the immune system

Int J Psychiatry Med. 1985;15(1):13-8. doi: 10.2190/r7fd-urn9-pq7f-a6j7.


Salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) concentration increased significantly after subjects viewed a humorous videotape and did not change significantly after they viewed a didactic videotape. Scores on a questionnaire measuring the perceived use of humor as a coping skill were positively related to initial IgA concentration and inversely related to changes in IgA concentration after subjects' viewing of the humorous videotape, which implies a ceiling effect. Enhancement of the immune system may be one link between anecdotal claims of relationships between an individual's being in a positive emotional state and healing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis*
  • Male
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Videotape Recording
  • Wit and Humor as Topic


  • Immunoglobulin A