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HUMOUR-RESEARCH  December 2008

HUMOUR-RESEARCH December 2008

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Subject:

Re: Humor and not humor

From:

Jim Lyttle <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Humour-Research <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 4 Dec 2008 12:42:35 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (65 lines)

Well, the individual's mindset affects the ability to perceive and/or  
enjoy humor. However, my mood and attitude may affect how I feel about  
the Mona Lisa, but it remains a classic piece of art whether I like it  
or not.

I think we have to be careful to avoid a solipsistic trap, where we  
think humor "IS" whatever is or is not perceived as funny by some  
observer. It is not that subjective. However, we also have to avoid a  
Frankenstein trap, where we think anything that follows the form  
A-B-C-D, whether anyone likes it or not! Maybe things are funny if  
some critical mass of reasonably people can see why it might strike  
someone as funny.

I think your discussion of incongruity theory is 100% correct. There  
is an insight there that we must consider (I believe) but that is  
nothing close to the whole story. I feel the same way about your  
insistence on some sort of pleasure being created within some or most  
observers. I think that is completely true.

I have many things to think about over the holidays, and try to  
sort-of graph in my mind.

Thanks to all.


Quoting "Roy E. Russell" <[log in to unmask]>:

> Humor Researchers,
>      Jim, I understand your point.  Even If I am able to demonstrate  
> a common structure in a variety of situations such as jokes,  
> tickling, peek-a-boo games. and pies-in-the-face, for the other  
> 99.5% I would need to show that this same structure does not occur  
> in non humorous situations.
>      As an example, in the Incongruity Resolution Theory, making  
> sense of the incongruous punch line is said to be responsible for  
> that nebulous something called humor and its more palpable  
> accompaniment, laughter.  And indeed, we find that in hundreds of  
> jokes we are puzzled by the punch line, but when we "get it" we feel  
> amused and often laugh.  That is worth 0.5%.  Now, can we be sure  
> that each time we resolve a similar puzzle, we will be amused?  In  
> other words, can solving a puzzle be non humorous?
>      Even with this 0.5% rating the IR theory is more often quoted  
> than criticized for not meeting this discriminant validity criteria.  
>  Perhaps, it makes up some of the other 99.5% through familiarity or  
> embedment.
>      These discussions remind us that humor/laughter is a multi  
> faceted problem.  A seldom mentioned facet is the individuals' mood  
> or mind set which can tip the balance between humor and not humor.
>
> Roy
>



------------------
JIM LYTTLE, Ph.D.
139 E HIGH ST APT 9
POTTSTOWN, PA 19464
BB: (610) 850-5050
.
.
.
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