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Sense of Humor, Components of

  • By: Willibald Ruch
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Sense of humor is a personality concept that is used to describe, predict, and eventually explain humor-related differences among people. Individuals may be high or low in sense of humor and we assume some stability of this trait. Likewise, it has all the other qualities of personality traits, such as being a hypothetical construct (i.e., not directly observable but inferred via indicators), consisting of individual differences (rather than being of a dichotomous nature), and usually being assessed via psychometrically sound instruments. There are at least three variants of sense of humor in the literature, namely (1) as an everyday expression or folk concept, (2) a scientific concept of narrow nature, or (3) a scientific concept of a broader scope. Importantly, as discussed in this entry, ...

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