6th International Summer School and Symposium on Humor and Laughter:
Theory, Research and Applications 10. - 15. July 2006




Symposium and poster session

The Symposium part of the summer school will take place on Friday. This is where participants may present their planned or finished research, or ideas on how to implement and use humor in applied settings, in any form they like.

The poster session could be held at the same day.

Forrest Wheeler

 "Forget Waldo -- Where's the Humor"

Step 1)  Attendees will be exposed to two different cartoons.  Both are designed to provide humor, joy and happiness, and laughter.
Step 2)  Audience  will seek out where (in each presentation) the humor exists. The results will be shared through individual participation.
Step 3)  Audience will be divided into small groups to identify a strategy in finding humor. The audience will then seek (collectively) to agree on a common strategy.
The results will be written and distributed to all  who listed their names and email (or alternative contact information) on attendance clip-board.
The purpose of this workshop is to provide attendees an opportunity to identify the basic characteristics of humor and (within reasonable bounds) extract a definition of humor.
Handouts: (1) Benefits of Humor, and (2) media information.

Mazzei Giulia

Lab of Communication Psychology

Evaluation and understanding by children audience of humorous scenes in animation

The aim of this research is studying how children elaborate and react to humoristic scene of animation movies. The interest is founded on two research’s fields. The first one analysis the structural incongruence of humorous stimuli and his  understanding by children (Mc Ghee,1982; Schulz,1976), the second one is the communicative approach to humour (Attardo, 2001).
The experiment, submitted to 60 children (30 of 6,5 age and 30 of 9,5 age), is on three phases: 1. projection of two animated movie (different in their narrative structures and communicative intentions) and recording the behaviour reactions; 2. the children select and draw the most funny scene; 3. semi-structured interview to check children’ level of evaluation of the humorous scenes and their understanding. The influence of the indipendent variables of age (2) and animation (2) were studied with four index: evaluation of involvement (scale 1-5); selection of humoristic scene (numbers of choise), accuracy (numbers of congruent elements between pictures/ verbal answer and animation), facial expressions (were used Facial Action Coding System, Ekman, Friesen, 1978; 2002). All video tapes were codified frame by frame (25 ms)using The Observer NOLDUS Software. The results  show that  children appreciate, understand and react in a different way to comic scenes on the bases of  their age and the narrative structures animations.

David Rawlings

Department of Psychology, University of Melbourne

Brain Laterality, Humor Styles and Humor Preference

The presentation reports a study in which brain laterality, measured using the chimeric faces task, is associated with two self-report humor indices: The Humor Styles Questionnaire, measuring Affiliative humor, Self-enhancing humor, Aggressive humor, and Self-Defeating humor, and the recently developed Humor Preference Test, which differentiates preference for jokes, amusing real-life situations involving others, and amusing real-life situations involving the self. Participants were 120 introductory psychology students. The two humor measures are first briefly compared. The results of regression analyses are then reported, indicating independent relationships between leftward (right hemisphere) bias and Affiliative humor and between rightward (left hemisphere) bias and Self-defeating humor. A measure of lateral preference irrespective of direction (absolute laterality) was calculated and found to be independently linked to high Affiliative and low Self-defeating humor and to the tendency to be amused by real-life situations, particularly those involving the self. Possible explanations for the patterns of results are briefly considered, including the emotional expressiveness frequently attributed to the right hemisphere and the robust personal style of more fully lateralized individuals.

Hugo Stuer

The holographic construct of humour

To define humour is forbidden by the gods. Many attitudes are seen towards the definitional vacuum of humour. For some experts ‘the epistemological hair-splitting can safely be skipped’. Others are ‘Waiting for brain sciences……meanwhile postpone trying’. Yet some daring minds driven by ‘a Faustian aspiration’ are less pessimistic about this ‘mission impossible’. Dictionaries describing humour as ‘ a state of mind, a quality, a world vision, a power, a perception, an ability, an intention ’ leave us in a labyrinthic uncertainty. Experts elaborate on the conditions, the goals and the content.
Psychoanalysis is involved and cognitive as well as social domains are explored. A basic theory is grounded in linguistics. Meanwhile in neuroscience several hypotheses rose on the difference of linear (cumulative)and lateral (creative) thinking, the hologram serving as one prototype. Unlike photography with point to point correlation in a hologram each point refers to the information of the hole. Implementation of the holographic principle on the core of the humour process has several opportunities:
-Broadening humour as a mental process into a bio-psycho-social phenomenon
-Bridging the gap between the unique and the universal
-Avoiding escape mechanisms (chicken /egg) in the discussions about simultaneity/recursiveness between sending /receiving, stimulus/response, incongruity/resolution.

With kind regards to Koestler, de Vries, Attardo, Holland, Teasdale, Hassenoehrl, Snowdon a.o.

Hugo Stuer MD University of Antwerp department of general medicine


Humor as a communication strategy. Analysis of different types of humor in TV commercials about High and Low consumer goods and evaluation of non verbal answer in a sample of users

INTRODUCTION: This research deals with the evaluation of humor in advertising. Humor is a communication device characterized by use of inadequate components. It can influence both cognitive abilities as attention, comprehension and memory, and also emotion as attitude towards brand. METHODS: In the first part narrative structure of a sample of 40 Italian humoristic spots was analysed with the placing of humor and product. The second one deals with the fruition of a sample of 20 subjects of a spot in order to value non verbal answer of amusement. The relevant questionnaire was to estimate at effects to use of humor (memory – appraisal). RESULTS: Data, examined by Chi Square and Variance analysis, show a real effect of humor in memory task apart from narrative structure of spot and from type of product in accordance with duration and intensity of emotive expression of pleasure. This answer is a correspondence with logical categories Emotive Reaction, final part of narrative sequence. It emerges a particular trend in female sample: a greater involvement and appraisal.





About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2006University of Fribourg, as