Age differences in the enjoyment of incongruity-resolution and nonsense humor during adulthood

Willibald Ruch, P E McGhee, Franz-Josef Hehl
1990
This study tested a model of the development of incongruity-resolution and nonsense humor during adulthood. Subjects were 4,292 14-to 66-year-old Germans. Twenty jokes and cartoons representing structure-based humor categories of incongruity resolution and nonsense were rated for funniness and aversiveness. Humor structure preferences were also assessed with a direct comparison task. The results generally confirmed the hypotheses. Incongruity-resolution humor increased in funniness and nonsense
more » ... niness and nonsense humor decreased in funniness among progressively older subjects after the late teens. Aversiveness of both forms of humor generally decreased over the ages sampled. Age differences in humor appreciation were strongly correlated with age differences in conservatism. An especially strong parallel was found between age differences in appreciation of incongruity-resolution humor and age differences in conservatism. This study tested a model of the development of incongruity-resolution. and nonsense humor during adulthood . Subjects were 4.292 14-to 66-year-old Germans. Twenty jokes and cartoons representing structure-based humor categories of incongruity resolution and nonsense were rated for funniness and aversiveness. Humor structure preferences were also assessed with a direct comparison task. The results generally confirmed the hypotheses. Incongruity-resolution humor in-creased in funniness and nonsense humor decreased in. funniness among progressively older subjects after the late teens. Aversiveness of both forms of humor generally decreased over the ages sampled. Age differences in humor appreciation were strongly correlated with age differences in conservatism. An especially strong parallel was found between age differences in appreciation of incongruity -resolution humor and age differences in conservatism.
doi:10.5167/uzh-77601 fatcat:57ofrfqk3bfltkrv4rfaydqayy