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Can quantum theory explain why jokes are funny? March 17,Frontiers Why was 6 afraid of 7? Whether this pun makes you giggle or groan in pain, your reaction is a consequence of the ambiguity of the joke.
Thus far, models have not been able to fully account for the complexity of humor or exactly why we find puns and jokes funny, but a research article recently published in Frontiers in Physics suggests a novel approach: Aiming to answer the question of what kind of formal theory is needed to model the cognitive representation of a jokeresearchers suggest that a quantum theory approach might be a contender.
In their paper, they outline a quantum inspired model of humor, hoping that this new approach may succeed at a more nuanced modeling of the cognition of humor than previous attempts and lead to the development of a full-fledged, formal quantum theory model of humor.
This initial model was tested in a study where participants rated the funniness of verbal puns, as well as the funniness of variants of these jokes e. The results indicate that apart from the delivery of information, something else is happening on a cognitive level that makes the joke as a whole funny whereas its deconstructed components are not, and which makes a quantum approach appropriate to study this phenomenon.
For decades, researchers from a range of different fields have tried to explain the phenomenon of humor and what happens on a cognitive level in the moment when we "get the joke".
Even within the field of psychology, the topic of humor has been studied using many different approaches, and although the last two decades have seen an upswing of the application of quantum models to the study of psychological phenomena, this is the first time that a quantum theory approach has been suggested as a way to better understand the complexity of humor.
Previous computational models of humor have suggested that the funny element of a joke may be explained by a word's ability to hold two different meanings bisociationand the existence of multiple, but incompatible, ways of interpreting a statement or situation incongruity.
During the build-up of the joke, we interpret the situation one way, and once the punch line comes, there is a shift in our understanding of the situation, which gives it a new meaning and creates the comical effect. However, the authors argue that it is not the shift of meaning, but rather our ability to perceive both meanings simultaneously, that makes a pun funny.
This is where a quantum approach might be able to account for the complexity of humor in a way that earlier models cannot.
Liane Gabora from the University of British Columbia, corresponding author of the paper. This makes the quantum formalism an excellent candidate for modeling humor," says Dr. Although much work and testing remains before the completion of a formal quantum theory model of humor to explain the cognitive aspects of reacting to a pun, these first findings provide an exciting first step and opens for the possibility of a more nuanced modeling of humor.
We believe that the approach promises an exciting step toward a formal theory of humorand that future research will build upon this modest beginning," concludes Dr.Here are four jokes that research, experts, and funny people determined to be the most hilarious of all time.
Heard on the links UK researchers found this to be the funniest joke . (This is one of those xeroxes® you keep seeing in your desk drawer. No idea where it originated.) GLOSSARY FOR RESEARCH PAPERS. Strictly Speaking. Welcome to LetterPile Expand your literary world.
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(This is one of those xeroxes® you keep seeing in your desk drawer. No idea where it originated.) GLOSSARY FOR RESEARCH PAPERS. Strictly Speaking.