Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Humor Related Abstracts

6 Workplace Humor and Creativity in It Teams: A Conceptual Framework

Authors: Hima Elizabeth Mathew, V. VijayalakshmI

Abstract:

All of us know what it is like to experience humor. Humor and laughter are universal aspects of human experience, occurring in all cultures and virtually in all individuals throughout the world. For people today, the workplace is associated more with the cubicles they sit, than with the co-workers around them. With reference to the current generation and the work context, the paper aims to understand the concept of humor at the workplace and its influence on team creativity in organizations. Humor is a multi-disciplinary topic that has been investigated for many years by researchers from fields such as anthropology, psychology, physiology and linguistics but significantly less thoroughly by management researchers. Researchers in the field of creativity also had their initial focus on the individual differences leading to creativity. Although the studies yielded some important findings regarding creative people, it provided the little help to practitioners in helping people develop creativity and almost ignored the role of social environment in enhancing creativity. After a review the relevant literature of the key variables, a theoretical framework is proposed linking workplace humor, emotional contagion, and team creativity. The findings of the study are expected to help academicians gain clarity on Workplace Humor for future research.

Keywords: Humor, team creativity, emotional contagion, workplace humor

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5 Neural Correlates of Diminished Humor Comprehension in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors: Przemysław Adamczyk, Mirosław Wyczesany, Aleksandra Domagalik, Artur Daren, Kamil Cepuch, Piotr Błądziński, Tadeusz Marek, Andrzej Cechnicki

Abstract:

The present study aimed at evaluation of neural correlates of humor comprehension impairments observed in schizophrenia. To investigate the nature of this deficit in schizophrenia and to localize cortical areas involved in humor processing we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study included chronic schizophrenia outpatients (SCH; n=20), and sex, age and education level matched healthy controls (n=20). The task consisted of 60 stories (setup) of which 20 had funny, 20 nonsensical and 20 neutral (not funny) punchlines. After the punchlines were presented, the participants were asked to indicate whether the story was comprehensible (yes/no) and how funny it was (1-9 Likert-type scale). fMRI was performed on a 3T scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens) using 32-channel head coil. Three contrasts in accordance with the three stages of humor processing were analyzed in both groups: abstract vs neutral stories - incongruity detection; funny vs abstract - incongruity resolution; funny vs neutral - elaboration. Additionally, parametric modulation analysis was performed using both subjective ratings separately in order to further differentiate the areas involved in incongruity resolution processing. Statistical analysis for behavioral data used U Mann-Whitney test and Bonferroni’s correction, fMRI data analysis utilized whole-brain voxel-wise t-tests with 10-voxel extent threshold and with Family Wise Error (FWE) correction at alpha = 0.05, or uncorrected at alpha = 0.001. Between group comparisons revealed that the SCH subjects had attenuated activation in: the right superior temporal gyrus in case of irresolvable incongruity processing of nonsensical puns (nonsensical > neutral); the left medial frontal gyrus in case of incongruity resolution processing of funny puns (funny > nonsensical) and the interhemispheric ACC in case of elaboration of funny puns (funny > neutral). Additionally, the SCH group revealed weaker activation during funniness ratings in the left ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, the medial frontal gyrus, the angular and the supramarginal gyrus, and the right temporal pole. In comprehension ratings the SCH group showed suppressed activity in the left superior and medial frontal gyri. Interestingly, these differences were accompanied by protraction of time in both types of rating responses in the SCH group, a lower level of comprehension for funny punchlines and a higher funniness for absurd punchlines. Presented results indicate that, in comparison to healthy controls, schizophrenia is characterized by difficulties in humor processing revealed by longer reaction times, impairments of understanding jokes and finding nonsensical punchlines more funny. This is accompanied by attenuated brain activations, especially in the left fronto-parietal and the right temporal cortices. Disturbances of the humor processing seem to be impaired at the all three stages of the humor comprehension process, from incongruity detection, through its resolution to elaboration. The neural correlates revealed diminished neural activity of the schizophrenia brain, as compared with the control group. The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no 2014/13/B/HS6/03091).

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Humor, Communication Skills, functional magnetic resonance imaging

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4 Students' Perspectives about Humor and the Process of Learning Spanish as a Foreign Language

Authors: Samuel Marínez González

Abstract:

In the last decades, the studies about humor have been increasing significantly in all areas. In the field of education and, specially, in the second language teaching, most research has concentrated on the beneficial effects that the introduction of humor in the process of teaching and learning a foreign language, as well as its impact on teachers and students. In the following research, we will try to know the learners’ perspectives about humor and its use in the Spanish as a Foreign Language classes. In order to do this, a different range of students from the Spanish courses at the University of Cape Town will participate in a survey that will reveal their beliefs about the frequency of humor in their daily lives and their Spanish lessons, their reactions to humorous situations, and the main advantages or disadvantages, from their point of view, to the introduction of humor in the teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language.

Keywords: Education, pedagogy, Humor, students’ perceptions, foreign languages, Spanish as a Foreign Language

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3 Work Engagement, Sense of Humor and Workplace Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Psychological Capital

Authors: Vandana Maurya

Abstract:

Positive psychological capital is the key contributor to the competitive advantage of the organizations. Moreover, work engagement and sense of humor are also positive notions and are able to facilitate positive workplace behaviour but the mechanism behind these relationships are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among work engagement, sense of humor and outcome variables (organizational citizenship behaviour and ethical performance) as well as investigating how psychological capital (PsyCap) mediates the relationships between work engagement, sense of humor and the outcome variables among healthcare professionals. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on healthcare professionals (n= 240). Data were collected using questionnaires which includes Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), Multi-dimensional Sense of Humor Scale (MSHS), Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ), Organizational Citizenship Behavior Questionnaire, and Ethical Performance Scale (EPS). The results of the regression analyses showed that work engagement and sense of humor both positively predicted the outcome variables. Mediation analysis reveals that psychological capital mediates the relationship between predictor and outcome variables. The study recommends that the framework presented in this study can be an important tool for managers to enhance their employees’ psychological capital by increasing their levels of work engagement and sense of humor. In turn, psychological capital could be a positive resource for employees to dealing more ethically and enhancing more positive workplace behaviour.

Keywords: Humor, work engagement, organizational citizenship behavior, ethical performance, PsyCap

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2 The Diminished Online Persona: A Semantic Change of Chinese Classifier Mei on Weibo

Authors: Hui Shi

Abstract:

This study investigates a newly emerged usage of Chinese numeral classifier mei (枚) in the cyberspace. In modern Chinese grammar, mei as a classifier should occupy the pre-nominal position, and its valid accompanying nouns are restricted to small, flat, fragile inanimate objects rather than humans. To examine the semantic change of mei, two types of data from Weibo.com were collected. First, 500 mei-included Weibo posts constructed a corpus for analyzing this classifier's word order distribution (post-nominal or pre-nominal) as well as its accompanying nouns' semantics (inanimate or human). Second, considering that mei accompanies a remarkable number of human nouns in the first corpus, the second corpus is composed of mei-involved Weibo IDs from users located in first and third-tier cities (n=8 respectively). The findings show that in the cyber community, mei frequently classifies human-related neologisms at the archaic post-normal position. Besides, the 23 to 29-year-old females as well as Weibo users from third-tier cities are the major populations who adopt mei in their user IDs for self-description and identity expression. This paper argues that the creative usage of mei gains popularity in the Chinese internet due to a humor effect. The marked word order switch and semantic misapplication combined to trigger incongruity and jocularity. This study has significance for research on Chinese cyber neologism. It may also lay a foundation for further studies on Chinese classifier change and Chinese internet communication.

Keywords: Humor, semantic change, Chinese classifier, neologism

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1 A Linguistic Product of K-Pop: A Corpus-Based Study on the Korean-Originated Chinese Neologism Simida

Authors: Hui Shi

Abstract:

This article examines the online popularity of Chinese neologism simida, which is a loanword derived from Korean declarative sentence-final suffix seumnida. Facilitated by corpus data obtained from Weibo, the Chinese counterpart of Twitter, this study analyzes the morphological and syntactical processes behind simida’s coinage, as well as the causes of its prevalence on Chinese social media. The findings show that simida is used by Weibo bloggers in two manners: (1) as an alternative word of 'Korea' and 'Korean'; (2) as a redundant sentence-final particle which adds a Korean-like speech style to a statement. Additionally, Weibo user profile analysis further reveals demographical distribution patterns concerning this neologism and highlights young Weibo users in the third-tier cities as the leading adopters of simida. These results are accounted for under the theoretical framework of social indexicality, especially how variations generate style in the indexical field. This article argues that the creation of such an ethnically-targeted neologism is a linguistic demonstration of Chinese netizen’s two-sided attitudes toward the previously heated Korean-wave. The exotic suffix seumnida is borrowed to Chinese as simida due to its high-frequency in Korean cultural exports. Therefore, it gradually becomes a replacement of Korea-related lexical items due to markedness, regardless of semantic prosody. Its innovative implantation to Chinese syntax, on the other hand, reflects Chinese netizens’ active manipulation of language for their online identity building. This study has implications for research on the linguistic construction of identity and style and lays the groundwork for linguistic creativity in the Chinese new media.

Keywords: New Media, Humor, loanword, Chinese neologism

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