humor-psychology

humor-psychology - Humor and Psychology by Don L F Nilsen...

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33 1 Humor and Psychology by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen
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33 2 Modern Man Modern man in contrast to primitive man has been called: Homo Erectus (upright man) Homo Sapiens (thinking man) Homo Ridens (laughing man)
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33 3 The Id, the Super Ego, and Tendentious Jokes “The Id is a pool for desires and drives. As society and parental influence (represented in the super ego) do not allow the direct expression of sexual and hostile impulses, gratification can only be achieved in an indirect way. There, individuals repressing their sexuality or aggression should show a preference for sexual and aggressive jokes.” (Ruch [2008] 29)
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33 4 Traits, States, and Behaviors Seriousness vs. Playfulness TRAITS: A “serious person” wants to function exclusively in the bona fide mode of communication. This is not true for a “playful person.” STATES: We can be in a serious or pensive mood, or a silly mood. BEHAVIORS: We can tell a joke or clown around. (Ruch [2008] 32)
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33 5 States Playful Mood Cheerful mood Hilarious mood Serious Mood Earnestness Pensiveness Soberness Bad Mood Sadness Melancholy Ill-Humor (Adapted from Ruch [2008] 34)
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33 6 Moods (States) “While an ill-humored person, like the serious one, may not want to be involved in humor, the person in a sad mood may not be able to do so even if he or she would like to.” “Also, while the sad person is not antagonistic to a cheerful group, the ill-humored one may be.” “Bad mood might also be a disposition facilitating certain forms of humor, such as mockery, irony, cynicism, and sarcasm.” (Ruch [2008] 34)
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33 7 Types of Humor “Affiliative Humor” involves the tendency to say funny things, to tell jokes, and to engage in spontaneous witty banter. “Self-Enhancing Humor” is a coping mechanism. “Aggressive Humor” involves sarcasm, teasing, ridicule, derision, put downs or disparagement. “Self-Defeating Humor” is when a person allows himself to be the butt of other people’s jokes. (Ruch [2008] 38-39)
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33 8 Smiles Willibald Ruch indicates that anatomically there are about 20 types of smiles, controlled by five facial muscles: Zygomatic Major Zygomatic Minor Levator Anguli Oris Buccinator Risorius (Ruch [2008] 21)
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33 9 Enjoyment Smiles “When individuals genuinely enjoy humor they show the facial configuration named the Duchenne display , which refers to the joint contraction of the zygomatic major and the orbicularis oculi muscles (pulling the lip corners backwards and upwards and raising the cheeks) causing eye wrinkles, respectively.” (Ruch [2008] 21)
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33 10 Non-Enjoyment Smiles “Smiles not following these definitions are unlikely to reflect genuine enjoyment of humor.” “There may be smiling involved in blends of emotions (e.g., when enjoying a disgusting or frightening film), smiles masking negative emotions (e.g., pretending enjoyment when actually sadness or anger is felt), miserable, flirting, sadistic, embarrassment, compliance, coordination, contempt, and phony etc. smiles.” (Ruch [2008] 22)
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