Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_677-1



Martin’s comprehensive definition of humor allows us a quick navigation on the conceptual foundation of humor. From a psychological perspective, “humor is essentially a positive emotion called mirth, which is typically elicited in social contexts by a cognitive appraisal process involving the perception of playful, nonserious incongruity, and which is expressed by the facial and vocal behavior of laughter” (Martin 2006, p. 29).

In this definition, humor is theorized as being comprised of four components, namely, the social, the cognitive-perceptual, the emotional, and the vocal-behavioral aspects (Martin 2006). The social component tells us that humor does not take place in a social vacuum. Humor is observed more often in the context of people’s social activity and human interaction. The cognitive-perceptual module refers to the mechanisms involved in generating as well as in construing humorous messages as comical. The...


Disparagement Humor Unintentional Humor Self-enhancing Humor Witness Function Accidental Humor 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Anthropology and Psychology, College of Social SciencesUniversity of the PhilippinesBaguioPhilippines

Section editors and affiliations

  • John F. Rauthmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA