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A Scientific Theory of Humor

Non-Words

In a series of experiments, it was found that the greater the ‘violation of the expected outcome’ the greater the humor feels. It also found that certain non-words, which are a combination of letter strings (like digifin, or artorts) but have no dictionary meaning, are the most consistent in their funniness rating.


Non-words with low entropy(the extent of them being unexpected) seem to offer more surprise, and therefore, get a higher humor rating.

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A Scientific Theory of Humor

A Scientific Theory of Humor

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-scientific-theory-of-humor/

scientificamerican.com

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Key Ideas

A Good Sense Of Humor

  • Humor has many practical uses, like diffusing a difficult situation, masking one’s nervousness, coping with failure and softening the criticism doled out to someone. 
  • Humor works well in social situations and helps people who are starting any relationship to build a bond.
  • Funny people are perceived as attractive, smart and personable.

The Perfect Formula Of Funny

According to philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, humor is derived from a sudden unmatching or unexpected outcome of an event, which had in our minds a specific expectation. This causes a mild ‘violation’ in our minds, which creates the humor.

Non-Words

In a series of experiments, it was found that the greater the ‘violation of the expected outcome’ the greater the humor feels. It also found that certain non-words, which are a combination of letter strings (like digifin, or artorts) but have no dictionary meaning, are the most consistent in their funniness rating.


Non-words with low entropy(the extent of them being unexpected) seem to offer more surprise, and therefore, get a higher humor rating.

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