A brief introduction to the benign violation theory of humor – guest post by Dr Peter McGraw

In this short post,  Dr Peter McGraw introduces his universal  theory of humor called the benign violation theory. The theory draws to a certain degree on the notion of  incongruity, present in other cognitive theories of humor appreciation. The post was originally published on the Humor Research Lab (HuRL) blog by Dr McGraw in September 2010. Both the theory and its author has gone on a long journey since – both academically and literally: Dr McGraw, together with  a journalist Joel Warner, went on a “far-reaching search for the secret behind humor”, which resulted in a book published recently  under a somewhat enigmatic title:  The Humor Code. Find more about and order the book on humorcode.com. Dr Peter McGraw and Joel...

Continue Reading

Humor, sex & dirty jokes – part 1

One of the blog’s readers doing research on peoples’ approaches to sexuality sent me a mail titled “Why people find sex funny?” She made a hunch hypothesis that the topic of sex often makes people feel awkward and uncomfortable, and are thus prone to cover it up with laughter. True enough, humor is often looked upon as a medium of indirect communication used to talk about difficult or taboo topics (Long & Graesser 1988) – not without a reason are there so many words either describing or related to sex in colloquial speech. I promised her to look deeper into the matter and see what the psychology of sex has to say about humor… I mean, the psychology of humor has to say about sex, or sexual humor, rather. Talking of slips, Freudian slips...

Continue Reading

Laughing (with) leaders: different leadership styles, different humor outcomes

The organizational psychology of humor is one of my key interests in the field. This post opens a series of related texts discussing theories and research on how humor influences organizational outcomes, work satisfaction, leaders’ effectiveness, teamwork, and many, many more. So, dear readers, given that most of you experienced some form of humor at work – and even more so in case you haven’t! – stay tuned for more organizational psychology of humor.   Humor has been related to a number of positive effects when used by leaders: improved morale among workers (Gruner 1997), enhanced group cohesiveness (Duncan 1982), and even a positive impact on larger organizational outcomes (Christopher and Yan 2005). However, the relationship between...

Continue Reading

Events

Conferences, open courses, summer schools and other humor psychology events about to happen:

AATH Annual Conference – Healthy Humor: What Is It, Where to Find It, Who Needs It… and Why? - 3rd to 6th April, 2014, Vincennes, IN, USA 

Playing for Laughs: On Comedy in Performance - April 2014 at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

13th International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter - July 2014 at the University of Sheffield, UK

26th International Society for Humor Studies conference 2014 7th-11th July, 2014, Utrecht, the Netherlands

13th International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter - July 2014 at the University of Sheffield, UK