Reactions to absurd humor by jews of eastern and western descent

Leonard Weller, Ella Amitsour, Ruth Pazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


It was hypothesized that Israeli Jews of Eastern descent would find absurd jokes less funny than would Israeli Jews of Western descent. Thirty-five respondents of each ethnic group reacted to five absurd and five nonabsurd jokes. As predicted, the former found abstract humor less funny that did the latter. Moreover, the respondents' educational level did not affect their reactions to the jokes. The element of incongruity was grasped by the Eastern Ss but they did not consider it funny. It is suggested that enjoyment of absurd humor represents a temporary release from rational thought. Since those of Eastern descent come from a culture where rational logic was less emphasized, they have less need for such a release and, therefore, find absurd humor less funny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1976


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