2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Dark Humor and Physiological Responses
Jennifer L. Phillips*, Amanda M. Crawford, and Roberto Renteria
Dr. Karen Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

Previous research indicates humor helps with memory recall, but we want to know more about the relationship between physiological effects of humor and memory recall. To test this, we will manipulate puns to include dark humor, light humor, dark non-humor, and light non-humor. In the experiment, these four stimuli will appear in random order five times to each participant. During stimulus exposure, we will measure participants' skin conductance and blood volume pulse. Also, each participant will rate how humorous and how dark each stimuli is on a 1-7 scale. After viewing the stimuli, they will have five minutes of free recall to remember as many target words from the stimuli they can. We expect that physiological responses of humor will be a better predictor than the humor ratings for better memory recall. Additionally, we expect that dark humor will produce a greater physiological response than light humor.

Keywords: Dark Humor, Memory, Heart Rate, Skin Conductance

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 10-5
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

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