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

Natalie Pennington 1  and Jeffrey A. Hall 2
  • 1 Communication Studies Department, University of Kansas, Bailey Hall, 1440 Jayhawk Blvd. Rm 102, Lawrence, KS 66045
  • 2 University of Kansas


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.

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HUMOR, the official publication of the International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS), was established over 25 years ago as an international interdisciplinary forum for the publication of high-quality research papers on humor as an important and universal human faculty. The journal publishes original contributions in areas such as interdisciplinary humor research, humor theory, and humor research methodologies.