Humor but not humiliation: finding the sweet spot in nonviolent conflict resolution – guest article by Michael Nagler and Karen Ridd

This article was originally published in the Transformation section of www.opendemocracy.net on 7th May 2014 (source). Humor can be used to compete against powerful opponents by ridiculing them and thus making them less threatening. It was often the case for how people fought against totalitarian regimes: caricature, cabaret and stand-up comedy were their weapon. But is ridicule the best strategy when one’s face to face with his persecutor, in a life-threatening situation? In their article “Humor but not humiliation: finding the sweet spot in nonviolent conflict resolution”, Micheal Nagler and Karen Ridd share powerful stories and insights into how strong an effect the inclusive, ‘affiliative’ humor can have; and how it can add to conflict...

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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...

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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...

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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