Here is a comment on nostalgia or return to an earlier state of good humor.
You don't have to be stressed out to enjoy a good laugh.
Even if the time is not at all stressful, you can be put back into a more appreciated state by reading or hearing descriptions that recall a previous, even better state to an extent that you would consider humorous. The mental event is humor to the person who enjoys it. The writing is humorous.
----- Original Message ----
From: Roy E. Russell <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, December 4, 2008 11:48:53 AM
Subject: Re: Humor and not humor
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.