Judgment

Repost: Things don’t go viral (except viruses)

You have heard the stories about viral videos that receive millions of views. One part of those stories, however, is not true. Things don’t go viral the way that viruses that do. .…………………………..Not the way it happens Academics, business people, and the man on the street commonly believe that interesting

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I take it back.

After my last sabbatical, I reported in a blog post what might be my post-Humor Code life might look like. I am now taking back one of the plans that I presented in the report: 3) Draw on the benign violation theory and related behavioral science research to examine how we

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Another Benign Violation: Roast Me

Being publicly degraded is distressing.  However, a popular subreddit on Reddit, /r/roastme, is populated by people asking to get roasted by  strangers. The results are… pretty funny. actually: The Benign Violation Theory helps explain what makes this process so funny. Humor arises when something is wrong yet okay, threatening yet safe,

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Another Benign Violation: Darwin Awards

Charles Darwin is best known for outlining the theory of evolution. The Darwin Awards showcase humans who have “self-selected” themselves out of the gene pool by doing something outrageously stupid. 2004: An Italian named Fabio had quit his job as an ostrich farmer to drive trucks, and in his spare

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Another Benign Violation: 2 Girls 1 Cup Reactions

An Internet sensation, a testament to depravity, and something you will have to Goggle on your own if you haven’t seen it, 2 Girls 1 Cup, has scarred pop culture. There have been a slew of reaction videos added onto YouTube. Watching people’s reactions to 2 Girls 1 Cup is

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Another Benign Violation: Scare Pranks

At some point we have all been the victim of an unexpected scare by a friend or family, which often ends with one or both parties laughing. This Mannequin Scare Prank shows how fear is typically replaced by laughter: According to the Benign Violation Theory, humor arises when something is

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Another Benign Violation: Autocorrect Fails

From the T9 function on flip phones to Swype on smart phones, spelling mis-predictions are the bane of handheld communication. It’s hard to catch all the typos  that result from Autocorrect Fails. Using The Benign Violation Theory, we can break down when Autocorrect Fails will be (especially) funny. Humor arises

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Another Benign Violation: Pet Shaming

Public shaming often makes the viewer uncomfortable. What happens, however, when you replace the shamed person with his or her’s best friend? According to the Benign Violation Theory,  humor arises when something is wrong yet okay, threatening yet safe, or what we call a benign violation. This intersection explains why

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SOLO 92 | Self-Contained
Podcast - Solo

Self-Contained

  Peter McGraw is joined by guest co-host Christina Campbell to talk to Emma John, the author of Self-Contained: Scenes from a Single Life. They

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Not Featured

Curtain Call

  Welcome to the final episode of I’M NOT JOKING. Comedian JD Lopez returns from Episode 1 to debrief and reflect on Peter’s experience building

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