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How do humorous texts produce positive emotions? Linguistic and emotional frameworks for laughter and amusement in funny poems and scenes (406)

Principal Investigator:

Humorous art produces positive emotions not only by means of semantic punch lines. We will explore the linguistic and emotional structures of humorous texts.

Humorous art and jokes aim at making the public laugh. We assume that there is a connection between the level of produced laughter/amusement and the preparation of the punch line through (positive or negative) emotions, as well as the linguistic form of the humorous sentence, poem or scene.

We want to conduct two experiments to explore the function of this framework of linguistically produced laughter. In the experimental situations we will focus on hemodynamic measures, specially the pattern of activation in the brain’s reward centre. Joining forces with a literary scholar and a psycholinguist, we want to experimentally explore the rarely examined production of positive emotions through humorous text-genres and emotional variations.

Does aesthetically formed language possess a more sustainable potential for amusement and laughter than do simple jokes? Does the framing of humorous linguistic events in sad contexts produce greater or lesser amusement in comparison with the framing in repeated humorous contexts? The results of these examinations should contribute to a better understanding of literary genres, of aesthetic reception and of neuropsychological processes of emotion variation.