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International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

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Volume 24, Issue 1


The impact of humor on memory: Is the humor effect about humor?

Kieth A. Carlson
Published Online: 2011-01-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humr.2011.002


Humorous material tends to be recalled at higher rates than non-humorous material however it is not clear why this occurs. The present study evaluated semantic elaboration, incongruity resolution, and perceived humor explanations of this memory phenomenon. Participants rated either inspirational or humorous properties of stimuli and recalled photographs, keywords and phrases. Results were most consistent with the perceived humor hypothesis. Participants' ratings of humor predicted recall performance even when semantic elaboration and incongruity resolution were controlled.

Keywords:: Humor; incongruity; memory; recall; resolution

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Published Online: 2011-01-14

Published in Print: 2011-02-01

Citation Information: Humor - International Journal of Humor Research, Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 21–41, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humr.2011.002.

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