Reactions to Humor, Non-Laughter

Laughter is commonly thought to accompany humor, and despite the insistence of humor scholars that this is not always so, this idea continues to appear, not only in everyday talk about the topic but in scholarly research as well. Of course, laughter does often occur as a response to humor, and the link between the two has intuitive appeal, yet investigations of responses to humor in interaction demonstrate that the range of responses is much broader than simply laughter. Understanding the variety of responses and the conditions under which they tend to occur is important for the formulation of audience-based theories of humor, as well as for understanding how humor is negotiated in interaction. This entry begins with a description of the different types of ...

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