Universiteit Leiden

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IBL Spotlight - Science Communication & Society

Thursday 1 June 2023
IBL Spotlights
Sylvius building

The social psychology of humor

What is the origin of humor? Why is it so important to be able to laugh with others? How harmful are sexist jokes? These and other questions are addressed in this lecture, in which we look at the social functions of humor. If you review the psychological literature, you will see that humor has roughly four functions: 1. Inclusion and exclusion or drawing group boundaries; 2. Expression of superiority or, on the contrary, leveling hierarchy; 3. Relaxation and breaking social norms; 4. Distancing from situations and regulating emotions. We discuss these functions through psychological experiments and real-life examples, and we use these insights to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of humor in our social environment and broader society.

Please remember the lecture starts at 16:00. Bring your coffee or tea and have a chat with your colleagues from 15:30 to 16:00.

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