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The adaptive functions of wit and humor

The adaptive functions of wit and humor In a study of 332 Ss, 2 hypotheses––(a) wit and humor are appreciated more under stress than nonstress conditions and (b) the well adjusted appreciate nonsense wit more than the poorly adjusted––were not confirmed. It did appear that men appreciate hostile wit while women prefer nonsense wit. When not under stress, hostile wit is more appreciated by the maladjusted than the well adjusted men; under stress the reverse is true. The well adjusted person has a greater appreciation for humor than the maladjusted. "It is concluded that the Freudian distinction between wit and humor is a valid one, with wit possibly operating to reduce tension under differing circumstances depending upon the interaction of adjustment, stress, and sex factors." (22 ref.) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Abnormal Psychology American Psychological Association

The adaptive functions of wit and humor

Journal of Abnormal Psychology , Volume 61 (2): 8 – Sep 1, 1960

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1960 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0021-843X
eISSN
1939-1846
DOI
10.1037/h0047766
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In a study of 332 Ss, 2 hypotheses––(a) wit and humor are appreciated more under stress than nonstress conditions and (b) the well adjusted appreciate nonsense wit more than the poorly adjusted––were not confirmed. It did appear that men appreciate hostile wit while women prefer nonsense wit. When not under stress, hostile wit is more appreciated by the maladjusted than the well adjusted men; under stress the reverse is true. The well adjusted person has a greater appreciation for humor than the maladjusted. "It is concluded that the Freudian distinction between wit and humor is a valid one, with wit possibly operating to reduce tension under differing circumstances depending upon the interaction of adjustment, stress, and sex factors." (22 ref.)

Journal

Journal of Abnormal PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Sep 1, 1960

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