Sense of humor what makes us laugh. It is an important personality trait on the basis of which people often base friendships and romantic relationships. It is also a complex and highly subjective. According to psychologists sense of humor in people is a combination of 4 distinct types of humors which can vary in degrees from person to person. Following are the four types:
1. Affiliative humor: Affiliative humor plays on plays on generic comedy that is drawn from everyday life. The intention behind this humor is mainly to create bonding and fellowship between people as it involves jokes on everyday problems, occurrences, events etc. The comedy of humorist Jerry Seinfield is an excellent example of affiliative humor.
2. Aggressive humor: Aggressive humor is mainly centered around insults and put-downs. Though quite common, this type of humor can be potentially dangerous in instances of bullying or threatening. Aggressive humor can also psychologically harm the subject of the jokes and research proves that most often the laughter in response this humor is simply a defense mechanism to hide discomfort. The humor used by comedian Joan Rivers is an example of aggressive humor.
3. Self-deprecating humor: Self deprecating humorists are ones that can laugh at themselves. It involves the ability to identify and appreciate the comedy in a situation where you yourself might be the butt end of the joke. It is practiced in a good natured way and can promote bonding between people by creating a sense of empathy and understanding.
4. Self-defeating humor: Unlike self-deprecating humor, self-defeating humor is unhealthy and involves putting oneself down aggressively. It is common in victims of bullying who try to protect themselves through self ridicule before it can be done by anyone else. It can cause psychological harm by lowering self-esteem, confidence etc.
Keeping these four types of humor in mind, you can now understand what exactly your sense of humor is made of by observing what kind of comedy you enjoy the most. But if you can’t decide, a “Humor Styles Questionnaire” has been developed by psychologist Rod Martin and his colleagues to measure these four human types in people. With the help of this questionnaire you will know what is it exactly that makes you laugh.