Competence Theory and the Appreciation of Novel and Familiar Humor

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According to Suls' (1972) incongruity model for the appreciation of jokes, humor with which recipients are familiar should not be perceived as funny because the ending is predictable. Suls (1975) later proposed that familiar humor is appreciated because of the sense of competence derived from adequately remembering the joke. This study examined Suls' theories by having subjects rate jokes on two occasions and supply their punch lines on the second occasion. Statistical significance was determined through the use of the t test for correlated means. Jokes for which punch lines were recalled were perceived as significantly less funny than on ... continued below

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iv, 22 leaves

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Chambers, John Thomas August 1979.

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  • Chambers, John Thomas

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According to Suls' (1972) incongruity model for the appreciation of jokes, humor with which recipients are familiar should not be perceived as funny because the ending is predictable. Suls (1975) later proposed that familiar humor is appreciated because of the sense of competence derived from adequately remembering the joke. This study examined Suls' theories by having subjects rate jokes on two occasions and supply their punch lines on the second occasion. Statistical significance was determined through the use of the t test for correlated means. Jokes for which punch lines were recalled were perceived as significantly less funny than on the first occasion. The results did not support predictions made from Suls' competence theory but did support those derived from Suls' incongruity model.

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iv, 22 leaves

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  • August 1979

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  • May 10, 2015, 6:16 a.m.

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  • June 9, 2016, 3:32 p.m.

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Chambers, John Thomas. Competence Theory and the Appreciation of Novel and Familiar Humor, thesis, August 1979; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc504401/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .