Once a pun a time: Exploring factors associated with perceptions of humorous punning.

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    • Abstract:
      Using participants' reactions to puns (words or phrases with two or more possible meanings) embedded in hypothetical scenarios, we investigated how perceptions of punning are influenced by characteristics of both the social situation and the punster. Consistent with the reversal theory of humor, Study 1 (N=185) showed that puns are considered funnier and more appropriate in playful than serious situations and less appropriate when they interrupt conversation than when they complete a conversation sequence without causing an interruption. Consistent with age-based developmental expectations of punsters, Study 2 (N=333) indicated that obvious puns told by children are perceived more favorably than those told by adults of varying ages and levels of expertise in the subject area of the pun. Future research might benefit from using more naturalistic settings and examining the extent to which various contemporary humor frameworks (e.g. benign violations theory) apply more specifically to punning in context. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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