The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 8, No 1 (2020)

Humor as a threat-coding mechanism

Edward Greenberg


The integration of humour’s classical theories such as relief, superiority, and incongruity suggest that the differences and patterns in what we find funny are largely dependent on attaching an “explicably safe” meaning to novel entities. It is argued that humour is a substantial organising influence in human socialisation and personal threat perception. Built on such work as Caleb Warren and A. Peter McGraw’s notion of humour in explicated ambiguity, Tom Veatch’s paradox of humour as a “normal” violation, and V.S. Ramachandran’s False Alarm Theory of humour, an integrational theory is developed and tested against a variety of hypotheses associated with the core findings of classical humour research.



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