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HUMOR

International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.655
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.718

CiteScore 2016: 0.94

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.458
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.759

Online
ISSN
1613-3722
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Volume 19, Issue 1 (Feb 2006)

Issues

Humor appreciation as an adaptive esthetic emotion

Glenn E Weisfeld
Published Online: 2006-05-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HUMOR.2006.001

Abstract

This article describes ethological analyses of the arts, and notes parallels between the arts and humor. Artists create novel, mentally challenging, informative stimulus arrays that exploit our evolved stimulus preferences. We appreciate these artistic offerings, and reward the artist. Similarly, jokes are informative, elegant, and appreciated. As in the arts and in primate social play, the humorist signals an intention to entertain and then provides the enriching experience. The recipient acknowledges this benefit, and returns the favor somehow; both parties gain in fitness. This explanation, that humor is edifying and mutually beneficial, is consistent with various features of humor and with evolutionary theory. For example, jokes often have a butt, from whom we can learn to avoid missteps. Similarly, jokes often pertain to fitness-salient topics such as sex. This theory is contrasted with other functional explanations. Research findings in neuroscience, genetics, and animal behavior are integrated with the theory.

Keywords: Humor; humor appreciation; humor production; esthetics; fitness; laughter

About the article

Published Online: 2006-05-02

Published in Print: 2006-02-20


Citation Information: Humor – International Journal of Humor Research, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HUMOR.2006.001.

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PLOS ONE, 2017, Volume 12, Number 6, Page e0178899
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Glenn Weisfeld and Stefan Goetz
Behavioral Sciences, 2013, Volume 3, Number 3, Page 388
[4]
Duane E. Lundy, Barry C. Barker, and Arika J. Glenn
Empirical Studies of the Arts, 2013, Volume 31, Number 2, Page 195
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Glenn E. Weisfeld, Nicole T. Nowak, Todd Lucas, Carol C. Weisfeld, E. Olcay Imamoğlu, Marina Butovskaya, Jiliang Shen, and Michele R. Parkhill
Humor - International Journal of Humor Research, 2011, Volume 24, Number 4
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Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2010, Volume 44, Number 7, Page 434
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