Theories of humor
There are many theories of humor which attempt to explain what humor is, what social functions it serves, what would be considered humorous. Among the prevailing types of theories that attempt to account for the existence of humor, there are psychological theories, the vast majority of which consider humor to be healthy behavior. Although various classical theories of humor and laughter may be found, in contemporary academic literature, three theories of humor appear repeatedly: relief theory, superiority theory, incongruity theory. Among current humor researchers, there is no consensus about which of these three theories of humor is most viable. Proponents of each one claimed their theory to be capable of explaining all cases of humor. However, they now acknowledge that although each theory covers its own area of focus, many instances of humor can be explained by more than one theory. Incongruity and superiority theories, for instance, seem to describe complementary mechanisms which together create humor.
Relief theory maintains that laughter is a homeostatic mechanism by which psychological tension is reduced. Humor may thus for example serve to facilitate relief of the tension caused by one's fears. Laughter and mirth, according to relief theory, result from this release of nervous energy. Humor, according to relief theory, is used to overcome sociocultural inhibitions and reveal suppressed desires, it is believed that this is the reason we laugh whilst being tickled, due to a buildup of tension as the tickler "strikes". According to Herbert Spencer, laughter is an "economical phenomenon" whose function is to release "psychic energy", wrongly mobilized by incorrect or false expectations; the latter point of view was supported by Sigmund Freud. The superiority theory of humor traces back to Plato and Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan; the general idea is that a person laughs about misfortunes of others, because these misfortunes assert the person's superiority on the background of shortcomings of others.
Socrates was reported by Plato as saying that the ridiculous was characterized by a display of self-ignorance. For Aristotle, we laugh at inferior or ugly individuals, because we feel a joy at feeling superior to them; the incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity between a concept involved in a certain situation and the real objects thought to be in some relation to the concept. Since the main point of the theory is not the incongruity per se, but its realization and resolution, it is called the incongruity-resolution theory. Francis Hutcheson expressed in Thoughts on Laughter what became a key concept in the evolving theory of the comic: laughter as a response to the perception of incongruity. Arthur Schopenhauer wrote that the perceived incongruity is between a concept and the real object it represents. Hegel shared exactly the same view, but saw the concept as an "appearance" and believed that laughter totally negates that appearance; the first formulation of the incongruity theory is attributed to the Scottish poet Beattie.
The most famous version of the incongruity theory, however, is that of Kant, who claimed that the comic is "the sudden transformation of a strained expectation into nothing." Henri Bergson attempted to perfect incongruity by reducing it to the "living" and "mechanical". An incongruity like Bergson's, in things juxtaposed is still in vogue; this is debated against theories of the shifts in perspectives in humor. Morreall presented simultaneous juxtapositions, with Latta focusing on a "cognitive shift" created by the sudden solution to some kind of problem. Humor contains an unexpected sudden, shift in perspective, which gets assimilated by the Incongruity Theory; this view has been defended by Brian Boyd. Boyd views the shift as from seriousness to play. Nearly anything can be the object of this perspective twist. Arthur Koestler argues that humor results when two different frames of reference are set up and a collision is engineered between them; the Script-based Semantic Theory of Humor was introduced by Victor Raskin in "Semantic Mechanisms of Humor", published 1985.
While being a variant on the more general concepts of the Incongruity theory of humor, it is the first theory to identify its approach as linguistic. As such it concerns itself only with verbal humor: written and spoken words used in narrative or riddle jokes concluding with a punch line; the linguistic scripts referenced in the title include, for any given word, a "large chunk of semantic information surrounding the word and evoked by it a cognitive structure internalized by the native speaker". These scripts extend much further than the lexical definition of a word, thus native speakers will have similar but not identical scripts for words they have in common. To produce the humor of a verbal joke, Raskin posits, the following 2 conditions must be met: " The text is compatible or in part, with two different scripts The two scripts with which the text is compatible are opposite; the two scripts with which the text is compatible are s
Carl Ransom Rogers was an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. Rogers is considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956; the person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling, education and other group settings. For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology by the APA in 1972. In a study by Steven J. Haggbloom and colleagues using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud. Rogers was born on January 1902, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
His father, Walter A. Rogers, was a Congregationalist by denomination, his mother, Julia M. Cushing, was devout Baptist. Carl was the fourth of their six children. Rogers could read well before kindergarten. Following an education in a strict religious and ethical environment as an altar boy at the vicarage of Jimpley, he became a rather isolated and disciplined person, acquired a knowledge and an appreciation for the scientific method in a practical world, his first career choice was agriculture, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was a part of the fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda, followed by history and religion. At age 20, following his 1922 trip to Peking, for an international Christian conference, he started to doubt his religious convictions. To help him clarify his career choice, he attended a seminar entitled Why am I entering the Ministry?, after which he decided to change his career. In 1924, he enrolled at Union Theological Seminary, he became an atheist. After two years he left the seminary to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, obtaining an M.
A. in 1928 and a Ph. D. in 1931. While completing his doctoral work, he engaged in child study. In 1930, Rogers served as director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Rochester, New York. From 1935 to 1940 he lectured at the University of Rochester and wrote The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child, based on his experience in working with troubled children, he was influenced in constructing his client-centered approach by the post-Freudian psychotherapeutic practice of Otto Rank as embodied in the work of Rank's disciple, noted clinician and social work educator Jessie Taft. In 1940 Rogers became professor of clinical psychology at Ohio State University, where he wrote his second book and Psychotherapy. In it, Rogers suggested that the client, by establishing a relationship with an understanding, accepting therapist, can resolve difficulties and gain the insight necessary to restructure their life. In 1945, he was invited to set up a counseling center at the University of Chicago.
In 1947 he was elected President of the American Psychological Association. While a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, Rogers helped to establish a counseling center connected with the university and there conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of his methods, his findings and theories appeared in Client-Centered Therapy and Psychotherapy and Personality Change. One of his graduate students at the University of Chicago, Thomas Gordon, established the Parent Effectiveness Training movement. Another student, Eugene T. Gendlin, getting his Ph. D. in philosophy, developed the practice of Focusing based on Rogerian listening. In 1956, Rogers became the first President of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, he taught psychology at the University of Wisconsin, during which time he wrote one of his best-known books, On Becoming a Person. A student of his there, Marshall Rosenberg, would go on to develop Nonviolent Communication. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow pioneered a movement called humanistic psychology which reached its peak in the 1960s.
In 1961, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences. Carl Rogers was one of the people who questioned the rise of McCarthyism in 1950s. Through articles, he criticized society for its backward-looking affinities. Rogers continued teaching at University of Wisconsin until 1963, when he became a resident at the new Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in La Jolla, California. Rogers left the WBSI to help found the Center for Studies of the Person in 1968, his books include Carl Rogers on Personal Power and Freedom to Learn for the 80's. He remained a resident of La Jolla for the rest of his life, doing therapy, giving speeches and writing. Rogers's last years were devoted to applying his theories in situations of political oppression and national social conflict, traveling worldwide to do so. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, he brought together influential Catholics, his last trip, at age 85, was to the Soviet Union, where he lectured and facilitated intensive experiential workshops fostering communication and creativity.
He was astonished at the numbers of Russians. Between 1974 and 1984