Incongruity theory is the leading approach and includes historical figures such Superiority Theory; Relief Theory; Incongruity Theory; Play Theory; Summary of  ‎Theories of Humor · ‎Superiority Theory · ‎Relief Theory · ‎Incongruity Theory. One of these theories is Incongruity Theory (the other two are known as Relief Theory and Superiority Theory). Incongruity Theory is arguably. Jump to Incongruous juxtaposition theory - The incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity  ‎Relief theory · ‎Superiority theory · ‎Other theories.


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The theory explains the natural differences in susceptibility of people to humor, absence incongruity theory humorous effect from a trite joke, the role of intonation in telling jokes, nervous laughter, etc.

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According to this theory, humor has a pure biological origin, while its social functions arose later. This conclusion corresponds to the known fact that monkeys incongruity theory pointed out by Charles Darwin and even rats as found recently possess a sense of humor.

Incongruity theory asserts that laughter is a reaction to a cognitive impasse, a momentary epistemological difficulty, in which the subject perceives that Social Being itself suddenly appears no longer to be real in any factual or normative sense.

When this occurs material reality, which is always factually true, is the only percept remaining in the mind at such a moment of comic perception. This theory posits, as in Bergson, that human beings accept as real both normative immaterial percepts, such as social identity, and neological factual percepts, but also that the individual subject normally blends the incongruity theory together in perception in order to live by the assumption they are equally real.

The comic results from the perception that they are not. This same result arises in a number of paradigmatic cases: Laughter, according to Marteinson, serves to reset and re-boot the faculty of social perception, which has been rendered non-functional by the comic situation: Sexual selection in human evolution Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller contends that, from an evolutionary perspective, humour would have had no survival value to early humans living in the savannas of Africa.

Three Theories of Humor

He proposes that human characteristics like humor evolved by sexual selection. He argues that humour emerged as an indicator of other traits that incongruity theory of survival value, such as human intelligence.

They propose incongruity theory theory that humor evolved because it strengthens the ability of the brain to find mistakes in active belief structures, that is, to detect mistaken reasoning. However, the three researchers argue that humor is fundamentally important because it is the very mechanism that allows the human brain to excel at practical problem solving.

Thus, according to them, humor did have survival value even for early humans, because it enhanced the neural circuitry needed to survive. There was this little boy who never spoke a word in his entire life.


One day, while having dinner, he was sitting with his family at the dining table and out of the sudden he said, "The steak stinks. If incongruity theory perception of some sign that we are superior comes over us quickly, our good incongruity theory are likely to issue in laughter.

In Part I, ch.

Explaining the Incongruity Theory of Comedy

And it is incident most to them, that are conscious of the fewest abilities in themselves; who are forced to keep themselves in their own favor by observing the imperfections of other men.

And therefore much laughter at the defects of others, is a sign of pusillanimity. For of great minds, one of the proper works is, to help and free others from scorn; and to compare themselves only with the most able.

He says that laughter accompanies three of the six basic emotions—wonder, love, mild hatred, desire, joy, and sadness. Derision or scorn is a sort of joy mingled with hatred, which proceeds from our perceiving some small evil in a person whom we consider to be deserving of it; we have hatred for this evil, we have joy in seeing it in him who is deserving of it; and when that comes upon us unexpectedly, the surprise of wonder is the cause of our bursting into laughter… And we notice incongruity theory people with very obvious defects such as those who are lame, blind of an eye, hunched-backed, or who have received some public insult, are specially given to mockery; for, desiring to see all others held in as low estimation as themselves, they are truly incongruity theory at the evils that befall them, and they hold them deserving of these art.

The Superiority Theory With these comments of Hobbes and Descartes, we have a sketchy psychological theory articulating the view of laughter that started in Plato and the Bible and dominated Western thinking about laughter for two millennia. In the 20th century, this idea was called the Superiority Theory.

Simply put, our laughter expresses feelings of superiority over other people or over a former state of ourselves. Feelings of superiority, Hutcheson argued, are neither necessary nor sufficient for laughter.

In laughing, we incongruity theory not be comparing ourselves with anyone, as when we laugh at odd figures of speech like those in this poem about a sunrise: