Humor, Context, and Divided Cognition

Social Theory and Practice 31 (3):309-36 (2005)
Those who suggest that only a sexist (or racist, or anti-semite) can experience amusement at a sexist (or racist, or anti-semitic) joke have failed to grasp two underappreciated features of the psychology of humor: (1) that amusement is sensitive to what is conveyed to the audience by the contexts within which a joke is taken to be situated, and hence to pragmatic, and not merely semantic, factors; and (2) that, given the non-integrated nature of the ordinary human cognitive system, the frame of mind that gets employed in enjoying a joke need not represent accurately its possessor’s overall mind or personality
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DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract200531316
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