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Funny How?

[ 3 ] August 9, 2010 |

The Three Sages

More on humor, courtesy of Machines Like Us:

Is Immoral Behavior Funny?

Caleb Warren and A. Peter McGraw, two psychological scientists from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, argue that violations of norms are laughable, but only if benign.  If I actually shot the sheriff, it would not matter whether or not I killed the deputy.  If I really did it, it’s really serious.  McGraw explains:

“We laugh when Moe hits Larry because we know that Larry’s not really being hurt.  It’s a violation of social norms. You don’t hit people, especially a friend. But it’s okay because it’s not real.”

Here’s a link to a PDF of the paper, published in Psychological Science. Disclaimer:  It is not a knee-slapper.  In fact, the only thing we surely don’t need science to tell us is that the easiest way to ruin a joke is to explain it to death.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Domenico Polimeno, Neuro Now. Neuro Now said: Funny How?: More on humor, courtesy of Machines Like Us: Is Immoral Behavior Funny? Caleb Warren and A. Peter McG… http://bit.ly/aPTgTS […]

  2. Maxwell says:

    This is a nice blog message, I will keep this idea in my mind. If you add more video and pictures because it helps understanding :) ml Maxwell.

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