Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

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
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 28, Issue 3 (Aug 2015)

Issues

Thinking fast and slow in the experience of humor

Larry Ventis
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Psychology - College of William and Mary P. O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795 USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-08-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2015-0070

Abstract

The present work theorizes that the experience of humor relies on distinct roles for each of the two thought modes identified by Kahneman (2011): Intuitive and Reflective Thought. A listener’s Intuitive Thought early in a joke is hypothesized to increase the probability of experiencing incongruity. Reflective Thought is hypothesized to be the mechanism for resolving the incongruity in a joke. If the latter hypothesis is valid, measures of Reflective Thought should be more closely associated with Humor Cognition (Feingold 1983) than would intelligence. SAT Total score was used to represent tested IQ (Frey and Detterman 2004), and the Cognitive Reflection Test (Frederick 2005) and SAT Critical Reading score were used to represent Reflective Thought. Participants consisted of 148 university students, 79 females, 67 males, and 2 undesignated. Partial correlation analysis revealed that controlling for SAT Critical Reading, SAT Total had no relationship to Humor Cognition (r=–0.04, n.s.). However, controlling for SAT Total, SAT Critical Reading and Humor Cognition remain significantly correlated (r=0.33, p<0.001).

Keywords: humor; intuitive thought; reflective thought; incongruity; resolution

References

  • Baron-Cohen, S., A. M Leslie & U. Frith. 1985. Does the autistic child have a “theory of mind”? Cognition 21. 37–46.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cacioppo, J. & R. Petty. 1982. The need for cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 42(1). 116–131.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Darwin, C. 1872 [1972]. The expression of the emotions in man and in animals. New York: AMS Press.Google Scholar

  • Feingold, A. 1983. Measuring humor ability: Revision and construct validation of the humor perceptiveness test. Perceptual and Motor Skills 56. 159–166.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Feingold, A. & R. Mazzella. 1991. Psychometric intelligence and verbal humor ability. Personality and Individual Differences 12(5). 427–435.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Frederick, S. 2005. Cognitive reflection and decision making. Journal of Economic Perspectives 19(4). 25–42.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Frederickson, B. L. 1998. What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology 2(3). 300–319.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Frey, M. C. & D. K. Detterman. 2004. “Scholastic assessment or g? The relationship between the Scholastic Assessment Test and general cognitive ability”. Psychological Science 15(6). 373–378.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Gervais, M. & D. S. Wilson. 2005. The evolution and functions of laughter and humor: A synthetic approach. Quarterly Review of Biology 80(4). 395–430.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Greengross, G., Martin, R., & Miller, G. 2012. Personality traits, intelligence, humor styles, and humor production ability of professional stand-up comedians compared to college students. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 6(1). 74–82.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Halpern, D. F. 1997. Sex differences in intelligence: Implications for education. American Psychologist 52. 1091–1102.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hurley, M., D. Dennett & R. Adams. 2011. Inside jokes: Using humor to reverse-engineer the mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Kahneman, D. 2011. Thinking, fast and slow. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.Google Scholar

  • Koestler, A. 1964. The act of creation. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar

  • Kruglanski, A. W., D. M. Webster & A. Klem. 1993. Motivated resistance and openness to persuasion in the presence or absence of prior information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65. 861–876.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Provine, R. R. 2000. Laughter: A scientific investigation. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar

  • Shammi, P. & D. T. Stuss. 1999. Humor appreciation: A role of the right frontal lobe. Brain, 122(4). 657–666.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stanovich, K. E. 2011. Rationality and the reflective mind. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Suls, J. M. 1972. A two-stage model for the appreciation of jokes and cartoons: An information-processing analysis. In J. H. Goldstein & P. E. McGhee (eds.), The psychology of humor: Theoretical perspectives and empirical issues, 81–100. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

  • Suls, J. M. 1983. Cognitive processes in humor appreciation. In P. E. McGhee & J. H. Goldstein (eds.), Handbook of humor research: Vol. 1: Basic issues, 39–57. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Wang, C & Mark J. Gierl. 2007. Investigating the cognitive attributes underlying student performance on the SAT Critical reading subtest: An application of the attribute hierarchy method. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Chicago, Illinois, 9 April.Google Scholar

  • Wyer, R. S. & J. E. Collins. 1992. A theory of humor elicitation. Psychological Review 99(4). 663–688.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ziv, A. 1976. Facilitating effects of humor on creativity. Journal of Educational Psychology 68(3). 318–322.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

About the article

Larry Ventis

Larry Ventis is a Professor of Psychology at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His research has largely focused on the psychology of humor and the psychology of religion. His previous humor research included an examination of the use of humor to counter fear. Recent research on religion has focused on implicit religious attitudes and the development of the Christian Humanist Implicit Association Test (CH IAT).


Published Online: 2015-08-05

Published in Print: 2015-08-01


Citation Information: HUMOR, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2015-0070.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter Mouton. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in