Skip to main content

The comic, not the comedy: effect of joke-origin-induced expectancy on cognitive humour.

Johnson, A.J. and Mistry, K., 2011. The comic, not the comedy: effect of joke-origin-induced expectancy on cognitive humour. In: British Psychological Society Annual Conference , 4-6 May 2011, Glasgow, Sctland. (Unpublished)

Full text available as:




Objectives: The present set of experiments examined whether humour expectancy (determined by the joke teller) impacts the humour evaluation of jokes. Design: Across four experiments, participants rated jokes purportedly delivered via celebrity comedians or celebrity non-comedians. The effect of joke-origin was further examined across variables of prior joke rating (high/low) and type of joke (incongruity/nonsense). The dependent variable was humour rating (0-100). Method: Four-hundred and thirty-four Coventry University Psychology undergraduates participated and were given a series of jokes to rate that were purportedly delivered by celebrity comedians or celebrity non-comedians. Results: Ratings of the same jokes were found to be significantly higher when purportedly delivered by comedians compared to non-comedian (Experiment 1). These effects were replicated with a repeated measures design with comedian and non-comedians matched upon prior like-ability ratings (Experiment 2). Furthermore, these effects were robust across jokes previously rated as funny/unfunny and across both incongruity/nonsense joke types (Experiment 3). However, this effect is removed if the name of the celebrity is obscured (Experiment 4). Conclusion: These experiments demonstrate that cognitive humour ratings are influenced by the origin of the joke, wherein knowledge of that celebrity determines expectancy of humour. This effect is contingent on the name of the joke-teller being presented, suggesting that a schema of that individual is activated with expectancy driven by past experiences of that individual.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:19944
Deposited By: Dr. Andrew J. Johnson
Deposited On:23 Apr 2012 14:32
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:44


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -