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
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.
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