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International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.660
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.059

CiteScore 2017: 1.27

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.415
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.228

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Volume 27, Issue 1


An analysis of humor orientation on Facebook: A lens model approach

Natalie Pennington
  • Corresponding author
  • Communication Studies Department, University of Kansas, Bailey Hall, 1440 Jayhawk Blvd. Rm 102, Lawrence, KS 66045
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/ Jeffrey A. Hall
Published Online: 2014-02-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2013-0053


This article presents the results of a mixed method analysis of the use and perception of humor orientation (HO) on Facebook (FB) profiles (N = 100). Results of the lens model analysis suggest that a variety of profile cues, not just those directly related to humor, are used by FB users to demonstrate HO and by observers to perceive HO. Cues used by profile owners and perceived by strangers as indicative of a humorous disposition include: status updates that contained relational talk, humor in profile pictures, humor in quotes, the number of times FB friends “liked” status updates, and the number of unique friends who commented on status updates. Additionally, political talk in status updates was negatively related to users' HO and observers' impressions of users' HO. A qualitative thematic analysis of the FB profiles was then conducted. Those analyses suggested that cues diagnostic of users' HO thematically focused on daily life events, popculture references, and selfrelated anecdotes. Implications for the expression of and perception of humor on FB are discussed.

Keywords: Facebook; humor; lens model; online impression management

About the article

Natalie Pennington

Natalie Pennington (MA Kansas State University) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at The University of Kansas. Her research focuses on interpersonal communication online through social media, and more specifically, impression management, social support, and relational development. E-mail: natpen@ku.edu

Jeffrey A. Hall

Jeffrey A. Hall (PhD University of Southern California) is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at The University of Kansas. His research focuses on dating and flirting, friendship, online communication, humor in long term relationships, and homophobia and masculinity. E-mail: hallj@ku.edu

Published Online: 2014-02-21

Published in Print: 2014-02-01

Citation Information: HUMOR, Volume 27, Issue 1, Pages 1–21, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2013-0053.

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