International Journal of Humor Research
Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.
IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.558
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.084
CiteScore 2018: 1.00
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.367
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.614
Disclosure humor and distortion humor: A reversal theory analysis
It is proposed that a distinction should be made between two fundamentally different kinds of humor. In disclosure humor, an identity (person, statement, etc.) is disclosed as having different characteristics/meanings from those originally supposed by the observer. In distortion humor, new characteristics are imaginatively added to the identity in a way that leads to absurdity. In both cases, incompatible attributes are experienced in relation to the identity concerned, this apparent escape from Aristotle's law of identity being made possible by one of the attributes being experienced as real and the other as an appearance. In both cases, humor is only experienced when the identity is diminished in the eyes of the observer. In the case of disclosure humor, the diminishment relates to the “real” attribute, while in the case of distortion humor it relates to the “apparent” attribute. This novel distinction is presented as an extension of the reversal theory of humor (Apter 1982), and is used to develop a taxonomy of humor that also involves the dichotomy of transitional and non-transitional humor, as well as three different levels of reference. Throughout, these concepts are illustrated with many kinds of humor, including jokes, parody, caricature, farce, riddles and slapstick.
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