Ethical and Psychological Theories of Humor

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The act of causing laughter as well as providing entertainment to a certain group or individual is referred to as humour. People that perceive comedy react to it by smiling, laughing, or even displaying an enjoyment sign. The amount to which one can find anything amusing is determined by their likes, culture, and even maturity level. Some things that make children laugh may not make a bunch of adults laugh. Since time immemorial, people have employed humour in many social circumstances. Most philosophers have insufficient theories about the origins of comedy.  Its understanding can be said to contribute to countering the traditional objectives(Argyle 2013). Humor are not specific words but a response to situations or countering some events that make brings out the unexpected reaction and thus triggers happiness or laughter to people. Also, the nature of humor is complicated as a certain group of people uses coded words in that they understand. The universal thing is the reaction people show when something is humorous. The theories and physiology of humor try to explain different kinds of humor in different situations (Bartolo et al.2006). They also explain the causes that are associated with humor. Throughout the paper, what will be the guiding principle will be the theoretical humor taking into considering the context of philosophers as well as the viewpoint of different disciplines. Most often, in workplaces, and other social setups, humor has been critical in preventing boredom and improves the relations among people in such areas. Also, it can help in motivating people to achieve a given goal or objective as they will have the willingness to work without tiredness.

The interdisciplinary uses of humor in professional and career life

Humor at the workplace has contributed to the success of various situations and tasks as it makes it possible for people to get along even when they have different perspectives or do not agree ideologically. It also displays a sense of maturity among the workers or people in a social place. In humorous words, people can disagree and insult each other without being angry or fight one another. If the humor is well placed in a workplace, the employees will have the spirit to work better without feeling discontented with whatever tasks before them(Calmus and Caillies, 2014). This is because humor, with jokes and sarcasm, can turn the unfavorable situation in workplaces to a more interesting thing and make everyone to feel unaffected and thus concentrate on their work instead(McGraw, Williams and Warren, 2014). For example as a salesperson, there are many challenges that one faces in the market especially on a door to door activation or personal selling. There are at times when the prospective customers will reject the good or service in a way that demoralizes a person, to get along, a group of salespeople can have a meeting where they are sharing their experience and making jokes about them. This will make them get along and not feel bad about sales. It will also make them willing to get another experience in the field and would hit the road running the next day. In such a case, the unfavorable situation has been turned into a joke and thus making more visits interesting. Here the joke has been used to motivate the sales people and make them to gain more experience in the market. Through a joking means, they will get the job done and goals achieved. Moreover, when work-related matters are discussed using humor, like cases where the group can laugh at the predicament of others, the seriousness of the situation would turn to jokes and the affected employees would not feel bad about it.

Further, wok places are comprised of different people that have unique characters. For humor to work well, employees have to feel free and no fear of any individual. It is also better when the humor is among those of the same level so that they would not feel inferior when it comes from the people above them (Maiolino and Kuiper, 2014). In future career goals, one can use humor in goals settings and make fun of some of the milestones along the way. It makes one to follow their dreams with little or no struggle as the hurdles are turned in humor, and thus they would feel less pressurized in doing some of the activities they have set up. The workplace would look like home or someplace that bring the utmost comfort to employees. They would feel easy and make their goals achievable because even consultation in a humorous environment would be easier. Also, humor at the office or professional life ranges with every moment. Staff can tickle colleagues after they have made some achievement in a situation that was considered challenging. This is called the relief theory of humor(Nahemow et al. 2013). It relieves them of the stress they went through during the period of undertaking the said tasks and give them hope for better days ahead.

Even though humor is a relieve to stressful daily events, there are ethical codes that guide it so as its intention is not misinterpreted. The responses to humor should not be one that makes the joke looks serious and ill-intended. However, one has not checked the environment well before engaging in some form of humor. For examples in sales, the humor should not be one that will make customers scared of the product or service being offered. A joke should not portray the product negatively. Also, ethically, humor should not be used to insult others. One needs to be emotionally intelligent before engaging in some humor that might be taken out of context or that would hurt their colleagues. If a joke makes a section of the group uncomfortable, then it should not be used. In other words, there is a limit that must be observed in every humor being made in a workplace or any other social setting(Samson, Glassco, Lee, and Gross, 2014). Moreover, response to humor should not give it a bad taste. One should not respond to humor with abusive words, anger or insults. If the humor was made innocently, then the mistake that comes out of it should be taken with caution and care so that the those who are offering humor to us should not feel like they have caused trouble.

Social media pop culture is currently some of the ways that people use to pass some humor or to communicate. Therefore there should be globally responsible values and attitudes toward humor in social media, Pop Culture. These values and attitude border the contents of the posts and messages being passed across. As a platform where there is mixture of people of all ages, both young and the old as well as senior official and authorities of a country, sensitivity should lead one in making any humor on this platform. For globally acceptable values towards humor, taking into consideration, these diversities is important. The humor made must be specifically addressed to a given group of people so that it will not be misinterpreted by another section of the society(Samson, Glassco, Lee, and Gross, 2014). This means that when one is making a joke, he/she has to state the audience well and ensure that the whole society gets who is being addressed using the given humor. Also, coded language that can be understood by the audience being addressed would be good to make a clear distinction between the group that is being addressed. This will make the other section not to take offense to the joke made.

In conclusion, humor is important in workplace and is the best tool that can be used to criticize a situation, event or someone without making them feel bad about it. It relieves the stress in the most situation in the workplace. Also one needs to be careful and make humor with caution as some of the jokes may end up hurting those who will feel directly addressed by the words of the humor. Globally, through social media and pop culture, it is better to specify the audience or use coded language that can only be understood by those being addressed. This is because these platforms usually have the diverse audience with different age group, gender or even race and therefore one section should not feel offended by what was meant for another group.


Argyle, M. (2013). The psychology of happiness. Routledge.

Goldstein, J. H. (Ed.). (2013). The psychology of humor: Theoretical perspectives and empirical issues. Academic Press.

Bartolo, A., Benuzzi, F., Nocetti, L., Baraldi, P., & Nichelli, P. (2006). Humor comprehension and appreciation: an FMRI study. Humor, 18(11).

Calmus, A., & Caillies, S. (2014). Verbal irony processing: How do contrast and humour correlate?. International Journal of Psychology, 49(1), 46-50.

Nahemow, L., McCluskey-Fawcett, K. A., & McGhee, P. E. (Eds.). (2013). Humor and aging. Elsevier.

McGraw, A. P., Williams, L. E., & Warren, C. (2014). The rise and fall of humor: Psychological distance modulates humorous responses to tragedy. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(5), 566-572.

Maiolino, N. B., & Kuiper, N. A. (2014). Integrating humor and positive psychology approaches to psychological well-being. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 10(3), 557-570.

Samson, A. C., Glassco, A. L., Lee, I. A., & Gross, J. J. (2014). Humorous coping and serious reappraisal: short-term and longer-term effects. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 10(3), 571-581.

April 26, 2023

Life Science


Scientific Method

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Laughter Happiness Theory

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