The Psychology of Humor


Rod A. Martin & Thomas Ford

Publication Year





Academic Press

The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach 2nd Edition

Most of us laugh at something funny multiple times during a typical day. Humor serves multiple purposes, and although there is a sizable and expanding research literature on the subject, the research is spread in a variety of disciplines. The Psychology of Humor, 2e reviews the literature, integrating research from across subdisciplines in psychology, as well as related fields such as anthropology, biology, computer science, linguistics, sociology, and more. This book begins by defining humor and presenting theories of humor. Later chapters cover cognitive processes involved in humor and the effects of humor on cognition. Individual differences in personality and humor are identified as well as the physiology of humor, the social functions of humor, and how humor develops and changes over the lifespan. This book concludes noting the association of humor with physical and mental health, and outlines applications of humor use in psychotherapy, education, and the workplace.

In addition to being fully updated with recent research, the second edition includes a variety of new materials. More graphs, tables, and figures now illustrate concepts, processes, and theories. It provides new brief interviews with prominent humor scholars via text boxes. The end of each chapter now includes a list of key concepts, critical thinking questions, and a list of resources for further reading.

Editorial Reviews


Presents a summary of research relating to humor from personality types, cognitive processes, social functions, neurobiology, and more

About the Author

Dr. Rod Martin completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1984. He subsequently worked as a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario until his retirement in July, 2016, and is now a Professor Emeritus. While at Western, he served as Director of the Clinical Psychology Program for many years. A major focus of his research has been on the psychology of humor, particularly as it relates to psychological health and well-being. He has also conducted research on depression, Type A personality, and the effects of stress on immunity. He has authored more than 100 scholarly journal articles, books, and book chapters, including The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach. He has developed several tests for measuring aspects of the sense of humor, which have been translated into numerous languages and have been used by researchers around the world. He has presented his research at conferences in numerous countries, and his research has been featured in national and international newspaper and magazine articles and radio and television programs. He has served as President and as a board member of the International Society for Humor Studies and for many years was a member of the editorial board of Humor: International Journal of Humor Research. He and his wife have three adult children and eight grandchildren.

Dr. Thomas Ford completed his Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Maryland in 1992. Upon graduation, he worked as a professor of social psychology at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University before joining the Department of Psychology at Western Carolina University in 2007. Dr. Ford has served as the director of the general-experimental psychology master’s program at Western Carolina University since 2013. His research interests include the role of disparagement humor in promoting expressions of prejudice and the relationship between humor and subjective well-being. He has published numerous research articles and book chapters that have been featured in radio and television programs and on-line news outlets. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of Humor: International Journal of Humor Research. He and his wife, Wendy, have two adult children, Nancy and Tyler.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Academic Press; 2nd edition (July 31, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 548 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0128121432
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0128121436
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.45 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.52 x 1.24 x 9.25 inches

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