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Age differences in the enjoyment of incongruity-resolution and nonsense humor during adulthood


Ruch, Willibald; McGhee, P E; Hehl, Franz-Josef (1990). Age differences in the enjoyment of incongruity-resolution and nonsense humor during adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 5(3):348-55.

Abstract

This study tested a model of the development of incongruity-resolution and nonsense humor during adulthood. Subjects were 4,292 14- to 66-year-old Germans. Twenty jokes and cartoons representing structure-based humor categories of incongruity resolution and nonsense were rated for funniness and aversiveness. Humor structure preferences were also assessed with a direct comparison task. The results generally confirmed the hypotheses. Incongruity-resolution humor increased in funniness and nonsense humor decreased in funniness among progressively older subjects after the late teens. Aversiveness of both forms of humor generally decreased over the ages sampled. Age differences in humor appreciation were strongly correlated with age differences in conservatism. An especially strong parallel was found between age differences in appreciation of incongruity-resolution humor and age differences in conservatism.

Abstract

This study tested a model of the development of incongruity-resolution and nonsense humor during adulthood. Subjects were 4,292 14- to 66-year-old Germans. Twenty jokes and cartoons representing structure-based humor categories of incongruity resolution and nonsense were rated for funniness and aversiveness. Humor structure preferences were also assessed with a direct comparison task. The results generally confirmed the hypotheses. Incongruity-resolution humor increased in funniness and nonsense humor decreased in funniness among progressively older subjects after the late teens. Aversiveness of both forms of humor generally decreased over the ages sampled. Age differences in humor appreciation were strongly correlated with age differences in conservatism. An especially strong parallel was found between age differences in appreciation of incongruity-resolution humor and age differences in conservatism.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:1990
Deposited On:17 Apr 2013 15:25
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:01
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0882-7974
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.5.3.348
PubMed ID:2242239

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