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The Psychology of Humor - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122889509, 9781483288543

The Psychology of Humor

1st Edition

Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Issues

Editor: Jeffrey H Goldstein
eBook ISBN: 9781483288543
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th July 1972
Page Count: 294
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The Psychology of Humor: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Issues examines theoretical perspectives and empirical issues concerning the psychology of humor. Theoretical views of humor range from the physiological to the sociological and anthropological. The relations between humor, laughter, and smiling are considered, along with the connection between collative variables and arousal.

Comprised of 13 chapters, this book begins with an introduction to the history of thought and major theoretical issues on humor, followed by a description of models of different aspects of humor. The next section deals with empirical issues in which selected research areas are given detailed attention. The relations between humor, laughter, and smiling, on the one hand, and collative variables and arousal, on the other, are analyzed. Subsequent chapters explore the cognitive origins of incongruity humor by comparing fantasy assimilation and reality assimilation; a two-stage model for the appreciation of jokes and cartoons; and the social functions and physiological correlates of humor. The relationship between arousal potential and funniness of jokes is also explored, together with humor judgments as a function of reference groups and identification classes. The final chapter presents an annotated bibliography of published papers on humor in the research literature and an analysis of trends between 1900 and 1971.

This monograph will be of interest to psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and behavioral scientists.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors



Part I Introduction

Chapter 1. Early Conceptions of Humor: Varieties and Issues

I. Introduction

II. Varieties of Early Humor Theory

III. Issues Arising from Earlier Humor Theories

IV. Conclusion


Part II Theoretical Perspectives

Chapter 2. Humor and Its Kin

I. Affinities of Humor

II. Collative Variables and Pleasure

III. Experiments on Collative Variables and Humor

IV. Laughter

V. The Smile

VI. How Does Humor Differ?

VII. Conclusion


Chapter 3. On the Cognitive Origins of Incongruity Humor: Fantasy Assimilation Versus Reality Assimilation

I. Introduction

II. Stimulus Discrepancy and Affective Arousal

III. Fantasy Assimilation Versus Reality Assimilation

IV. The Development of Fantasy Assimilation

V. Humor in Infancy?

VI. Factors Influencing Mode of Assimilation

VII. Mode of Assimilation and Affectively Salient Humor

VIII. Summary


Chapter 4. A Two-Stage Model for the Appreciation of Jokes and Cartoons: An Information-Processing Analysis

I. Introduction

II. The Basis of Joke and Cartoon Humor

III. Comparison with Other Cognitive Theories

IV. Suggestions for Research

V. Conclusion


Chapter 5. A Model of the Social Functions of Humor

I. Introduction

II. A Progress Report

III. A Model of the Social Functions of Humor

IV. Conclusion


Part III Empirical Issues

Chapter 6. Physiological Correlates of Humor

I. Introduction

II. The Essence of Humor

III. Arousal: Humor and Curiosity

IV. An Experimental Study

V. Discussion


Chapter 7. The Relationship Between Arousal Potential and Funniness of Jokes

I. Arousal and Appreciation of Humor

II. Measurement

III. The Experiment

IV. Summary


Chapter 8. Enjoyment of Specific Types of Humor Content: Motivation or Salience?

I. Introduction

II. Experiment I: Salience and Drive in Humor Appreciation

III. Experiment II: Salience and Appreciation for Variations in Humor Thema

IV. Discussion and Conclusions


Chapter 9. On Being Witty: Causes, Correlates, and Consequences

I. Introduction

II. A Paradigm for the Problem

III. The Literature: What Do We Know?

IV. Adding Evidence: Empirical Explorations

V. For the Future


Chapter 10. Humor Judgments as a Function of Reference Groups and Identification Classes

I. Problems and Paradoxes

II. Review of Experimental Literature

III. Reasons Why IC's Construct Is Preferable to KG

IV. Conclusion


Chapter 11. Humor, Laughter, and Smiling: Some Preliminary Observations of Funny Behaviors

I. Introduction

II. Naturalistic Observations of Audience Laughter: In the Wilds of Knoxville and Elsewhere

III. Laboratory Studies: Cosby and Diller, and Cambridge Too

IV. Conclusion: Future Directions and Speculations


Part IV Overview and Conclusions

Chapter 12. Advances Toward an Understanding of Humor: Implications for the Future

I. Contributions of the Present Volume

II. An Overview



Chapter 13. An Annotated Bibliography of Published Papers on Humor in the Research Literature and an Analysis of Trends: 1900-1971

I. Introduction

II. A Survey of Methodology in Empirical Studies: 1950-1971

III. An Annotated Bibliography of Published Papers on Humor in the Research Literature: 1900-1971

Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1972
28th July 1972
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Jeffrey H Goldstein

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