1st Edition

The Social Psychology of Humor

Edited By Madelijn Strick, Thomas E Ford Copyright 2021
    222 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This important new book provides a comprehensive analysis of humor from a social-psychological perspective, addressing questions about the use of humor and its effects in daily life. It examines the social psychology of humor on micro-level phenomena, such as attitudes, persuasion, and social perception, as well as exploring its use and effect on macro-level phenomena such as conformity, group processes, cohesion, and intergroup relations.

    Humor is inherently a social experience, shared among people, essential to nearly every type of interpersonal relationship. In this accessible volume, Strick and Ford review current research and new theoretical advancements to identify pressing open questions and propose new directions for future research in the social psychology of humor. The book explores fascinating topics such as humor in advertising, political satire, and the importance of a sense of humor in maintaining romantic relationships. It also examines how racist or sexist humor can affect personal and intergroup relations, and discusses how to confront inappropriate jokes.

    Offering new, precise, and operational conceptions of humor in social processes, this book will be essential reading for students and academics in social psychology, media, and communication studies.

    List of Contributors


    Madelijn Strick and Thomas E. Ford

    Part A

    Individual Social Psychological Processes

    1. How Humor can Promote Central-route Persuasion: The Role of Ambivalence

    Madelijn Strick

    2. Political Humor

    Jody C. Baumgartner

    3. Paradoxical Thinking as a Paradigm of Attitude Change: Comparison to Satire and the Role of Humor (or Lack Thereof)

    Boaz Hameiri

    Part B

    Interpersonal Relationships

    4. Uniting and Dividing in Personal Interactions: Four Key Functions of Humor in Communication

    John Meyer

    5. Humor and Long-Term Romantic Relationships

    Jeffrey Hall

    6. Humor and Figurative Language: Good for a Laugh, and More

    Herbert L. Colston

    Part C

    Group Processes

    7. Workplace Humor: The Good, the Bad, and the Non-Existent

    Barbara Plester

    8. Humor Competence in the Classroom

    Ann B. Frymier and Melissa B. Wanzer

    Part D

    Intergroup Relations

    9. Disparagement Humor and Prejudice: Advances in Theory and Research

    Thomas E. Ford and Andrew R. Olah

    10. Cavalier Humor Beliefs: Dismissing Jokes as "Just Jokes" Facilitates Prejudice and Internalizes Negativity among Targets

    Gordon Hodson and Elvira Prusaczyk

    11. Addressing the Challenges of Confronting Disparagement Humor

    Julie A. Woodzicka and Robyn K. Mallett


    Madelijn Strick is Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She teaches courses on social influence and communication. She has published extensively on the psychology of advertising, focusing (among other subjects) on the impact of humor, being moved, and narrative transportation.

    Thomas E. Ford is a Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University, USA. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research. His research interests include the role of disparagement humor in promoting expressions of prejudice and the relationship between humor and subjective well-being.