Cognitive Resource Theory


COGNITIVE-SALIENCE MODEL OF HUMOR. The cognitive-salience model of humor assumes that - in the experimental manipulations of materials in humor studies - a cognitive set for processing sexual and aggressive stimuli occurs more easily than that assumed by motivational theories in which a drive/motive state is modified. In one test of this model (Kuhlman, 1985), participants gave humor ratings to three sets of jokes containing "salient," "taboo," and "neutral" themes; the salience category required participants to rate jokes under one of three conditions: control; before taking an exam; and 20 minutes after beginning an exam. Results did not confirm the hypotheses derived solely from the cognitive-salience model; on the other hand, motivational factors were observed to be associated with high humor ratings. It may be suggested, based upon such experimental studies, that a conceptual integration of both cognitive and psychoanalytic/motivational mechanisms of humor may be the most fruitful approach to take for analyzing the humor experience. See also COGNITIVE THEORIES OF HUMOR; HUMOR, THEORIES OF; MOTIVATIONAL THEORIES OF HUMOR. REFERENCES

Goldstein, J. H., Suls, J. M., & Anthony, S. (1972). Enjoyment of specific types of humor content: Motivation or salience? In J. H. Goldstein & P. E. McGhee (Eds.), The psychology of humor: Theoretical perspectives and empirical issues. New York: Academic Press. Kuhlman, T. L. (1985). A study of salience and motivational theories of humor. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 281-286.

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