The Social Psychology of Humor  book cover
1st Edition

The Social Psychology of Humor

ISBN 9780367487188
Published April 6, 2021 by Routledge
222 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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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.