Title

The Impact of Humor on Memory: Is the Humor Effect About Humor?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Humorous material lends to be recalled at higher rates than non-humorous material however it is not clear why this occurs. The present study evaluated semantic elaboration, incongruity resolution, and perceived humor explanations of this memory phenomenon. Participants rated either inspirational or humorous properties of stimuli and recalled photographs, keywords and phrases. Results were most consistent with the perceived humor hypothesis. Participants' ratings of humor predicted recall performance even when semantic elaboration and incongruity resolution were controlled.