Hostility and humor in 45 psychiatric patients in 1956

Donn Byrne probed the delicate psyches of 45 men, in 1956. This study reports what he found:

The relationship between humor and the expression of hostility,” Donn Byrne [pictured here], Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol 53(1), July 1956, pp. 84-89. The author explains:

byrne“This study explored the relationships among the expression of hostility in behavior, the extent to which hostile cartoons are judged funny, and the ability to recognize hostility in cartoons. 3 groups of 15 male psychiatric patients each were rated as expressing hostility overtly, covertly, or not at all. They were asked to judge the funniness of 32 cartoons and also to indicate which of the cartoons expressed hostility and which did not. Relationships were found between the expression of hostility and the tendency to judge hostile cartoons as funny, between estimated IQ and the ability to differentiate hostile and non-hostile cartoons, between the expression of hostility and the differentiation of hostile and non-hostile cartoons, and between the tendency to judge hostile cartoons as funny and the ability to differentiate hostile and non-hostile cartoons.”

 

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