NCBI ROFL: Knock knock! Who's there? Some random statement that you won't remember.

By ncbi rofl | January 4, 2012 8:08 pm

The effect of humor on memory: constrained by the pun.

“In a series of experiments, we investigated the effect of pun humor on memory. In all experiments, the participants were exposed to knock-knock jokes in either the original form retaining the pun or in a modified form that removed the pun. In Experiment 1, the authors found that pun humor improved both recall and recognition memory following incidental encoding. In Experiment 2, they found evidence that rehearsal is not the cause of the humor effect on memory. In Experiments 3 and 4, the authors found that the constraints imposed by puns and incongruity may account for the humor effects observed. Puns constrain and limit the information that can fit in the final line of a joke and thus make recall easier.”

Bonus table from the full text:

Photo: flickr/sastafford

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Aggression-inhibiting influence of sexual humor.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: “Laughing at yourself”: you’re doing it wrong.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Humor and death: a qualitative study of The New Yorker cartoons (1986-2006).

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing").Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


See More

Collapse bottom bar