2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

So Punny: Puns, Humor & Recall
Lauren A. Baker*, Clare Fielding, Brittany A. Jaecques, Myra Milam, and Erin Smith
Dr. Karen Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

Humor generally improves memory, but how it does so is still not well understood. To test whether humor produces increased recall through increased arousal, we compared the recall of target words within puns for four different categories: dark humor, light humor, dark non-humor and light non-humor. Ninety-eight participants also completed two personality measures: the Humor Styles Inventory and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The study will determine the relationship between the Humor Styles Inventory and the PANAS, respectively, to memory recall. Comparisons of the frequency of recall for target words in each category revealed that humorous puns and dark material were recalled significantly more; however, there was no interaction between humor and darkness. These results suggest a complex relationship between arousal and recall.

Keywords: Memory, Humor, Puns

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-4
Location: GEO
Time: 3:30

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