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Cognitive Processes in Humor Appreciation

Chapter

Abstract

When we think about humorous experience our attention is typically focused on its affective or emotional aspects. After all, jokes can liven up an evening or boost our egos at the expense of a disenfranchised group. The affect surrounding humor may make us overlook the cognitive effort that is essential for its comprehension and appreciation. Also, the cognitive processes may be missed because, when humor is most effective, the mental work occurs instantaneously and apparently without effort. But producing and understanding one’s native language are no less phenomenologically instantaneous and effortless. Nonetheless, there is substantial evidence from the fields of linguistics and cognitive psychology that complex mental processes are at work (Fodor, Bever, & Garrett, 1974; Chomsky, 1965). The understanding and appreciation of humor should not be expected to be a less complex process.

Keywords

Emotional Climate Weight Discrimination Punch Line Humorous Stimulus Humor Processing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1983

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