FYI, Norm

J Gen Psychol. 2010 Oct-Dec;137(4):376-94.
The effect of humor on memory: constrained by the pun.

Summerfelt H<>,
Lippman L<>,
Hyman IE Jr<>

Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA.

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.

PMID: 21086859 [PubMed - in process]