The present study derives hypotheses from the General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH) and tests them on a sample of 534 subjects. Subjects are presented with three sets of jokes, each consisting of an anchor joke and comparison jokes in which variations in one and only one of the six
Knowledge Resources (KR), script Opposition (SO), logical mechanism (LM), Situation (SI) target (TA), narrative strategy (NS), andlanguage (LA) occurred. Subjects rated the degree of similarity between the anchor joke and the six comparison jokes. The results support the hypothesis that the extent to which the similarity judgment is affected depends on the type of the KR manipulated. Also, there generally is a decreasing trend in similarity between the KRs LA and SO. Whereas there was a significant difference between all consecutive KRs, äs predicted by the hierarchy postulated by the GTVH, SI and LM were not in the right order. Possible explanations for thisfact are discussed.
This article presents and discusses a study which empirically Supports some of the Claims of the General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH). After introducing the theory, the article will present the hypotheses derived from the theory that were tested and finally the results of the investigation.