Why humor enhances creativity from theoretical explanations to an empirical humor training program: Effective “ha-ha” helps people to “a-ha”

Ching Hui Chen, Hsueh Chih Chen, Anne M. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This chapter discusses the relationship between creativity and humor, starting with the perspectives of theoretical models and then transitioning to empirical experiments. Creativity and humor were found to be closely related concepts. The confluence model of the humor process explains how humor works and is the first step of our discussion. Among the models that interpret the benefits of humor for creativity, the cognitive perspective shows that humor comprehension is a process that uses important skills of creativity; the emotional perspective claims that humor promotes a positive attitude toward creativity; and the motivational perspective explains that happiness brought by humor creates a strong internal motivation for being creative. To test this model, a humor training program was conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of humor to creativity. The humor training program was developed according to the cognitive, emotional, motivational, and behavioral facets of humor, and each facet had its topics and teaching strategies. The outcome measures were a multidimensional sense of humor scale, a new test of creative thinking, and a divergent-thinking exercise of the creative assessment packet. The experimental group showed a significant improvement in sense of humor, as well as creativity, in comparison to the control group. This study provides empirical support for the claim that humor facilitates creativity, and that a humor training course can have a significant effect on humor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreativity and Humor
PublisherElsevier
Pages83-108
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780128138021
ISBN (Print)9780128138038
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Confluence model of humor process
  • Creativity
  • Humor
  • Humor training course

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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