Three Theories Of Humor

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Humor is a big part of human life. It is been used all the time in all kinds of social contexts (Crawford, 2003). It is important in romantic relationships, but also in more serious relationships. It is even being used in business life (Romero & Cruthirds, 2006). Humor connects us. However it is so important, a lot is speculated about the definition and function (Polimeni & Reiss, 2006).Over time a lot of theories have been made. These theories are edited time by time. One thing known for sure is that humor induces laughter (Meyer, 2000). In the course of time there are three main theories that had a lot of attention. These three theories will be discussed now. The first theory is the superiority theory. According to this theory we express…show more content…
This theories were the relief theory and the incongruity theory. In the relief theory laughter is linked to the nervous system (Buijzen & Valkenburg, 2004). The more known about the nervous system, the more this theory became edited. However, as the theory was edited, the idea that laughter is an expression of the release of energy stayed. Spencer states in his essay “On the Phyisology of laughter” that emotions take the physical form of nervous energy (Morreall, 2009). This energy then produces motions that are characteristic for different emotions. These motions release the build-up energy (Morreall, 2009). According to Spencer, laughter also releases energy (Morreall, 2009). He states that this is the energy of emotions that would have been improper. John Dewey also states that laughter is some of the same development as the sigh of relief (Morreall, 1982). Better known is the relief theory of Sigmund Freud. Freud states that humor elicit feelings that would normally be repressed in the sub consciousness (Shurcliff, 1968). According to this theory humor is being used to overcome social and cultural inhibitions and expose desires. Freud distinguishes three situations in his theory: der Witz, humor and the comic (Freud, 1905). Der Witz is mostly translated to joking. In all three situations, laughter releases nerve energy. This energy was requested for a psychological…show more content…
We will ask our contributors to share our advertisement. A prerequisite for this research is that the participants have to be in a steady relationship. When people respond that they are willing to participate, the questionnaire will be send to them. In the questionnaire we formulated items that would indicate the use of humor in relationships. We divided these questions into two parts. The first part is about the use of humor by the respondent and the second part is about the use of humor by the partner of the respondent. Also referred as humor production and humor appreciation. People were asked to indicate on a 5-point Likert scale how important the items are to them in their current situation, ranging from not important at all, to highly important. There will be questions about three factors: instrumental humor, positive humor and negative humor. In addition, we will collect some relationship variables that were likely to be related, such as intimacy, demanding withdrawal and satisfaction. These questions are also added to the questionnaire. After all the participants turned in the questionnaire we will examine the results separately for males and females. This way we can see if there are any differences in importance of humor for the different sexes. We will also look at the differences in humor production and humor appreciation. It will take about 5 minutes to fill in the questionnaire and people can do it at home.

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