Article

Humor

Jennifer Hofmann and Willibald Ruch

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online July 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0127
Humor

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In psychological research, humor and the sense of humor are concepts studied in a variety of fields, such as personality, social, and clinical psychology and education and health psychology. In fact, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries research has been carried out on fundamental and applied issues, and a humor and health movement is burgeoning. The International Society of Humor Studies (ISHS) unites several hundred researchers from many disciplines, and the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) is an international community of professionals involved in the practice and promotion of healthy humor. The psychology of humor refers to the study of humor and people, not to humorous material only. It covers several dimensions, including humor production, humor appreciation, emotional responses, behavioral styles expressing humor, cognitive aspects and aims at describing, explaining, predicting, and controlling humorous behavior. Nevertheless, no agreed definition of either term—humor or sense of humor—exists. Humor can be either viewed as a broad umbrella term for all phenomena of this field (mostly Anglo-American research and everyday language) or as a worldview in the sense of smiling at the adversities and imperfections of life (following the tradition of the aesthetics). Different methods have been applied to define the sense of humor, measure it, and eventually train it. This entry provides an overview on the most important theories, conceptualizations, measurement issues, and the use of humor in the applied fields.

Article.  8327 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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