Talk:Humor research

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Article life[edit]

I had to write this article, once again, in the domain I have absolutely no experience, after running into an quite confused article "theory of humor" (now a redirect), whose author, in his well-meaning attempt to full a gap in wikipedia, started with a faulty equation of the notions "research" and "theory". What went even worse, he apparently lost interest in the topic. Therefore I started two independent pages, Humor research and Theories of humor. When I started them, I also noticed another confusion in wikipedia: theories of humor are not the same as theories of laughter. Unfortunately the latter confusion is inherited in wikipedia from the "real world": quite a few articles actually about humor phrase it as "why we laugh", disregarding that, first, people laugh for other reasons as well and second, people can perceive humor ("I see it must be funny") but not laugh. Laudak (talk) 17:50, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


kronosati[edit]

http://kronosati.com/ablead.html Dear Laudac, read the above, please. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lota-reya (talkcontribs) 18:13, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

If you mean Igor Krichtafovitch , nothing shows that he is recognized expert in humor or psychology or physiology or history, etc. He is engineer. YOu are very welcome cite his publications in air pollution control. Laudak (talk) 15:54, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

New Sections to the Article[edit]

I am a student at the University of Kentucky and I have access to published psychology articles and journals. I chose this article to edit because it is very underdeveloped but it has lots of potential. I added a few sections to this article based on the research I found in several of these published articles to which I have access. There are still lots of edits to be made and content to be added. I left the section of "Health" blank, but I know there has been lots of research done on this topic. I would love to add more about why humor has the effects that it does, but not much is known about that and research does not explain much about that yet. However, research does show us the effects humor has and can have. (Kevinwilliams18 (talk) 15:13, 24 April 2012 (UTC))

Informative article[edit]

I found this article basically informative, but not well developed. It becomes sketchier further in. Marty55 (talk) 22:45, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Ideas for improvement: some other articles to look to[edit]

I think this article needs quite a bit of improvement on the theories section. It cannot simply be divided into three categories of functional, stimulus, and response, as it is now. I found this article to be a good comprehensive review of humor research until now, and would like to reference some of the theories mentioned in it. The article is "The Evolution and Functions of Laughter and Humor: A Synthetic Approach" found in the The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 80, No. 4 (December 2005), pp. 395-430 Font6 (talk) 17:28, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Here are some more sources of information:

Teaching and Learning with Humor: Experiment and Replication Author(s): Avner ZivReviewed work(s):Source: The Journal of Experimental Education, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Fall, 1988), pp. 5-15Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20151750 .

The Effect of Humor on Memory: Constrained by the Pun Hannah Summerfelt a , Louis Lippman & Ira E. Hyman Jr. Western Washington University Version of record first published: 29 Sep 2010.

Contextual connections wtihin puns: Effects on perceived humor and memory Lippman, Louis GView Profile; Dunn, Mara L. The Journal of General Psychology127. 2 (Apr 2000): 185-97.

Good humor: A qualitative study of the uses of humor in everyday life. Frecknall, Peter Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior, Vol 31(1), 1994, 12-21. Font6 (talk) 19:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)


So are you going to focus on just the theories section? That is probably a good idea. Clevwiki (talk) 19:34, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Good, but you will need more than one source. If there are definite theories, you should be able to find multiple sources for them, perhaps even a review article. You want to make sure that you aren't just summarizing one person's view. Wadewitz (talk) 22:21, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Outline of Planned Revisions[edit]

One of the most important distinctions in humor research is the difference between humor and laughter. For the theories section, I would like to separate it into two sections, one being laughter and one being humor. As laughter is the physical response to the understanding of humor, this section could come first, detailing the two distinct types of laughter: Duchenne and non-Duchenne. Then, humor theories detailing these two specific types of laughter would go under the section for the respective type of laughter. A third section detailing alternative approaches to the study of humor may then be added. The structure would look something like this...

  • Laughter
    • Duchenne
      • Definition:
      • Theories of humor that are connected to Duchenne laughter-inducing stimuli
    • Non-Duchenne
      • description

Update: Rather than editing the "theories section," I will be changing this heading entirely to include different approaches to the study of humor. Anyone looking for theories should be redirected to the specific theories page. The new section will include something along the lines of:

  • Approaches to Humor
    • Duchenne vs Non-Duchene: This will include a description of the differences between these two forms of laughter. Each type of laughter can be studied in different ways. This will lead into the different ways to study humor.
    • Evolutionary Psychology: an anthropological look at humor, and its function throughout our evolution
    • Positive Psychology and Play Research: observations of child interations
    • Neuroscience: use of brain imaging techniques

Font6 (talk) 22:39, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Font6 (talk) 06:05, 16 November 2012 (UTC) Font6 (talk) 16:24, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Looks like a good start! Wadewitz (talk) 20:50, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
good, perhaps some fleshing out of this outline would help. Also, bear in mind that you should use multiple sources. Clevwiki (talk) 23:18, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I will be removing the Theories section and replacing it with an Approaches section. Anyone searching for theories will be redirected to the theories page. If anyone wishes to use the information written by the original editor, it is here:

Theories[edit]

Humor research deals with a wide variety of issues, [1] which can be categorized according to several theories of humor:

Functional Theories try to explain the purpose or function of humor—or, often, of laughter. This group would include Sigmund Freud's (following Herbert Spencer) relief theory and Alastair Clarke's recent suggestion that humor indicates pattern-recognition skills that are known to have survival value.

  • Sociological research (on the context that is required before things can be found funny, who jokes with whom, or the effects of humorous interaction on groups at work and elsewhere) and gelotology (the effects of laughter, especially health benefits) could probably be sorted under the heading of Functional, since they try to explain what humor (or, often, laughter) is "for."


Stimulus Theories try to characterize what it is about certain things that makes them funny. This group would include Immanuel Kant's incongruity theory and Victor Raskin's linguistic (syntactic, pragmatic, semantic) theories.

  • Decades of literary research (on what is funny and why) along with the collective knowledge of entertainers (on how to perform stand-up and other forms of comedy) could probably be sorted under the heading of Stimulus, since they try to explain what is and is not funny. This group should probably include computational humor (not to be confused with computer humor).


Response Theories try to explain how or when we will find things funny. This group would include Thomas Hobbes′ superiority theory and modern research that quantifies the sense of humor.

  • Psychological research (on individual differences, who prefers what types of humor, and so forth) along with recent neurological studies on what happens in our brains as we are finding things funny could probably be sorted under the heading of Response, since they try to explain how and when we will find things funny. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Font6 (talkcontribs) 18:39, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference mn2002 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).