Henri de Jongste
[Topics in Humor Research 9] 2020
► pp. 107–125
Chapter 6. Humour theories and mental models (2)
In addition to the approaches discussed in the previous chapter, there have been a number of studies that propose an alternative perspective of humorous interaction, or extend on the theories already discussed. In this chapter, we analyse five of these perspectives and their claim to offer fresh insights into the phenomenon of humour. The General Theory of Verbal Humour focuses on semantic features that make texts humorous and identifies six knowledge resources that underlie the production of humorous texts. Hurley, Dennett and Adams investigate humour on the basis of error-detection in mental spaces, whereas John Morreall and Brian Boyd both see play as a characteristic essential to humorous interaction. Interactionist approaches study the interaction process in its context in detail and investigate the exchange and the co-ordination of public mental models. Michael Apter, finally, whose psychological reversal theory was discussed in the context of meta-motivational states earlier, focuses on cognitive synergies as central to the creation of humour. As in the previous chapter, the central question is to what extent these theories are compatible with a mental-model approach and which aspects of mental-model theory can be related to the propositions made in the various theories put forward.