Two studies tested hypotheses regarding the idea that humor promotes cognitive flexibility. Two components of humor are argued to promote cognitive flexibility. First, the positive emotion associated with humor may enhance cognitive flexibility. Second, the processing of humor may exercise complex cognitive processing, thus making similar processing more efficient on subsequent tasks. Participants in Experiment 1 read humorous sentences or one of two types of non-humorous sentences. Participants in Experiment 2 viewed captioned images that varied in the presence of positivity and incongruity. Results of both studies do not support the idea that humor promotes cognitive flexibility, nor do they show evidence that humor promotes cognitive flexibility because of the positive emotion or incongruity associated with it. Explanations for the failure to find support for hypotheses focus on the stimuli used in non-humor conditions and the stimuli and method of measuring cognitive flexibility. Alternative methods of testing the hypotheses are also offered, such as investigating sense of humor as a personality trait, using different types of humor and a different method of measuring cognitive flexibility. This project hoped to provide elementary evidence for the notion that humor is beneficial for health, but did not do so. It is hoped that future research can elucidate the relationship between humor and health.
|Commitee:||Earleywine, Mitchell, Friedman, Ronald S.|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Psychology, Experimental psychology|
|Keywords:||Cognitive flexibility, Humor, Incongruity, Mirth|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be