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FORDHAM UNIVERSITY y
This dissertation prepared under my direction by
Responses o f G rirls to th e Humor o f Car t o ons*
has been accepted in partial fulfilm ent of the requirements for the
Degree o f
( Faculty A d viser)
RESPONSES OP GIRLS TO THE HUMOR OP CARTOONS
BY SISTER AGNES LUCILE, RALEY, S.C.N. A.B., Boston College, *36 M*A., Boston College, *40
DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OP THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OP DOCTOR OP PHILOSOPHY IN THE DEPARTMENT OP PSYCHOLOGY AT FORDKAM UNIVERSITY
NEW YORK 1942
ProQuest Number: 10992504
All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is d e p e n d e n t upon the quality of the copy subm itted. In the unlikely e v e n t that the a u thor did not send a c o m p le te m anuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if m aterial had to be rem oved, a n o te will ind ica te the deletion.
uest ProQuest 10992504 Published by ProQuest LLC(2018). C opyright of the Dissertation is held by the Author. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States C o d e M icroform Edition © ProQuest LLC. ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 4 8 1 0 6 - 1346
TABLE OF CONTENTS ' Chapter
LIST OF FIGURES..................................
ACKNOWLEDGMENT S . .................................
v Ii i
I . INTRODUCTION .......................... Definition of Humor Theories of Laughter
LIST OF TABLES
TEE SCALING TECHNIQUE....................... Requirements of a Reliable Seale Steps in the Construction of a Scale
METHOD AND PROCEDURE......................... Collection and Selection of Material First Grouping of Pictures Preliminary Rating and First Elimination Second Rating and Further Elimination Correlation of Ratings of Two Prelimin ary Groups Summary
PROCEDURES USED IN RANKING THE SCALE....... Explanation and Application Subj ects
ANALYSIS OF D A T A ........................... Procedure A - Scale Ranking Procedure B - Classification Ranking Comparison of Rankings for High School and Grades Age Variations for Individual Cartoons Reliability of the Two Forms of the Scale
’V I .
HISTORICAL SURVEY OF THEEXPERIMENTAL LITERATURE......................
-i Chapter VII •
DISCUSSION................................... Limitations of the Scale Merits of the Scale
AP'PEMDIX Directions for Collecting Material Instructions for First and Second Elimination Processes
LIST OF TABLES Page TABLE I. TABLE II.
TABLE V. TABLE VI.
TABLE VII. TABLE VIII TABLE IX. TABLE X. TABLE XI.
HUMBER OF PICTURES SUBMITTED ABD PERCENTAGES FOR SACK CATEGORY.......
NUMBER OF SUBJECTS AND AVERAGE AGE IN YEARS FOR EACH GRADE IN PRE LIMINARY RATING......................
CATEGORIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE 160 PICTURES SELECTED AFTER THE PRELIMINARY RATING...................
NUMBER OF SUBJECTS AND AVERAGE AGE IN YEARS FOR EACH GRADE IN SECOND RATI N G..........
MEDIANS AND Q. D.*S FOR THE 32 PICTURES IN FORM I AND FORM I I .....
CORRELATIONS OF THE RATINGS FROM S. M. A. AND U* S- U. ON 160 PICTURES...........
THE RHO rS OF THE EIGHT CATEGORIES TRANSMUTED INTO PEARSON r rs ..........
SUMMARY TABLE OF PRELIMINARY PRO CEDURES...............................
NUMBER OF SUBJECTS FROM EACH OF THE GRADES IN SIX HIGH SCHOOLS.........
NUMBER OF SUBJECTS FROM EACH OF THE' GRADES IN SIX GRAMMAR SCHOOLS.......
NUMBER OF SUBJECTS FOR EACH AGE AND GRADE AND AVERAGE AGE IN YEARS FOR EACH GRADE.......................
MEANS OF THE DISTRIBUTIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION RANKINGS BASED ON JUDGMENTS OF 738 SUBJECTS........
MEANS OF THE DISTRIBUTIONS OF THE SCALE RANKINGS BASED ON JUDG MENTS OF 738 SUBJECTS...............
Page TABLE XIV. TABLE XV. TABLE XVI.
MEANS, DIFFERENCES AND CRITICAL RATIOS FOR EIGHT CATEGORIES.........
AGE VARIATIONS AND CRITICAL RATIOS FOR PARTICULAR CARTOONS.............
CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS BETWEEN MEDIAN RANKINGS FOR FORM I AND FORM II OF TEE SCALE................
vii. LIST OF FIGURES Page FIGURE I. FIGURE II. FIGURE III.
GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF THE SCALE - FORM I AMD FORM II . ........
PROCEDURE A - ME AM SCALE RANKINGS (S. R.) FOR EIGHT CATEGORIES.......
YEARLY VARIATION IM AVERAGE CLASSI FICATION RANKINGS (C. R.) PROCEDURE B - FORM 1 ...............
YEARLY VARIATION IN AVERAGE CLASSI FICATION RANKINGS (C. R. ) PROCEDURE B - FORM I I ..............
MEDIAN CLASSIFICATION RANKINGS (C. R. ) FOR HIGH SCHOOL AMD GRADES FORM I AND FORM I I ...'..............
MEDIAN RANKINGS OF HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADES FOR FOUR SEPARATE SCALE POSITIONS - FORM I AND FORM I I
MEDIAN RANKINGS OF HIGH SCHOOL AMD GRADES FOR FOUR SEPARATE SCALE POSITIONS - FORM I AMD FORM II (contfd)..............
YEARLY VARIATION IN MEDIAN CLASSI FICATION RANKINGS (C. R . ) FOR PARTICULAR CARTOONS FROM FORM I AMD FORM I I ..................
viii. r ACCTOWLBDGMSDTS
At this time I wish to express my sincerest thanks to Mother Ann Sebastian, Mother General of the Sisters of Charity of lazareth, for the privilege of special study and research, and to all the Sisters of my Community for their kindness and prayers which have been at all times an inspiration in my work. I appreciate the encouragement given me by Dr. R. T. Rock as well as the untiring aid of Dr. B. R. Philip who has directed my research.
To all the members of the
faculty I am grateful for opportunities of discussion and for their helpful and timely suggestions. To the teachers and pupils in the schools I visitedj to the Curtis, Crowell-Colliers' and Macfadden Publishing Companies I confess my indebtedness for without their gen erous cooperation this investigation could never have been completed.
It gives me pleasure also to thank Dr. P.
M. Brumbaugh and Dr. R. H. Sears for the use of their doctoral dissertations and Dr. A. A. Roback for the inter est he has shown in my work. Finally for each and every one, who, either by word or by actual assistance, have aided me in this
shall always hold a grateful remembrance.
RESPONSES 0P GIRLS TO TEE HUMOR OP CARTOONS
r CHAPTER I INTRODUCE TIOJST Definition of Humor Just as language is one of the human birthrights which makes the gap between man and the lower animals al most infinite in extent, so the merry mind is a gift to which mankind in general has the sole right.
definitions of humor are so varied and confusing that one hesitates using the term lest it be interpreted in too narrow or too broad a sense. Por some it means practically 1 the same thing as insight. Consequently, it must depend essentially upon intellectual factors;
that is upon a
profound acquaintance with the world of things and events and upon an unusual and keen appreciation of the subtle ties of life.
Por others it is synonymous with laughter
and hence is often interpreted merely in the light of the -physiological changes which take place when we laugh. Purposely, both these extremes have been avoided in this presentation.
Instead, with L. W. Kline, we have
called humor "a psychophysical phenomenon, writ large, of
2 which laughter is the physical aspect1*.
As we have used
G. 1'. Allport, Personality, Hew York, Henry Holt Company, 1937, p. 220-225. L. W. Kline, “The psychology of humor*. A m e r . J. Psychol., 1907, 18, p. 424* J
it, then, it is an opinion or a verbal expression of an attitude, which as Thurstone says, "is a complex affair which can not be wholly described by any single numerical index,
...It is.,.the sum total of a man's inclinations
and feelings, prejudices or bias, preconceived notions, 1 fears, threats and convictions about any specified topic.* To recognize what is funny one cannot exclude the intellectual factor, yet, we believe that humor is more than a function of mental acuteness.
On the other hand,
it is not purely a physical feeling dependent entirely upon bodily capriciousness which brings a relief of tension and relaxation.
Rather the intellectual appreciation of the
ludicrous is accompanied by a physical response. purposes of the present investigation,
then, our position
will be to accept as a measurement of humor, the rankings by individuals of a series of cartoons.
In this way,
will indicate the particular pictures which they think have elements that appear ludicrous and that produce a laughter response.
Just what this mechanism of humor is, or how and
why it causes one to laugh, is a different question which we have not proposed to answer.
We do say, however,
humor and laughter are not the same thing.
L. L. Thurstone. "Attitudes can be measured". J. Sociol., 192o, 33, p. 53G-531.
Theories of Laughter The fact that humor and laughter are so often used synonymously,
though, by many investigators makes it
necessary for us to mention briefly some of the more im portant theories which have been proposed intermittently since the days of Plat© and Aristotle*
are not very pertinent to this particular study and excell ent reviews of them have already been published by Max 1 2 Eastman, Charles Diserens, and Charles Diserens and 3 Mabel Bonifield, so we shall content ourselves with more recent speculation. In their consideration of the explanations of laughter, 4 5 6 J. C. Gregory, J. Y. T. Greig and C. W. Kimmins have set forth definite theories of their own, which, however, may be traced ultimately to one or more than one of the older hypotheses.
Eor instance, Gregory’s idea of a
relifC of tension and of relaxation and Greig*s affirmation
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
M. Eastman, The Sense of Humor, Few York, Charles Scribner, 1921. C. Diserens, MEecent theories of laughter” . Psychol. Bull., 1926, 23, 247-255. C. M. Diserens and M. Bonifield, ”Hiimor and the ludicrous” . Psychol. Bu l l . , 1930, £J, 108-118. J. C. Gregory, The Hature of Laughter. Hew York, Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1924. J. Y, T. Greig, The Psychology of Laughter and Comedy. Hew York, Dodd, 1923. C. W. Kimmins, The Springs of Laughter. London, Methuen and Co., 1928.
that laughter is part of the love instinct correspond very well with Freud's psychoanalytical theory*
Hayworth made use of the same idea also when he says that laughter is employed as "a signal of safety to encourage 1 subsequent relaxation". C. W. Kimmins insists more on the sociological viewpoint, and thus agrees closely with James Sully and H. Bergson. In attempting to get at the genesis of laughter, G.
2 Stanley H a l ^ s physiological explanation is a good start3 ing point for P. H. Allport who traces humor to the infantile response to sensitive zone stimulation.
lation of these sensitive zones in another instance is considered by A. Allin from the neurological point of view and he notes that the "causal factor in the production of tickling may lie in the nature and structure of the nervous processes...tickling is the result of vaso-motor 4 5 6 shock". Hiram M. Stanley and H. C. McComas develop
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
D. Hayworth, "The theory of communication as related to the kinds of ludicrous situations". Psychol. Rev., 1928, 35, 377-380. G. S. Hall and A. Allin, "The psychology of tickling, laughter and the comic". A m er . J. Psychol.. 1897, 9, 41. P. H. Allport, Social Psychology. Hew York, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1924. A. Allin, "On laughter". Psychol. R e v .. 1903, 10, p. 308. H. M. Stanley, "Remarks on tickling and laughing*. A m e r . J. Psychol. . 1898, £, 235-240. H. C. McComas, "The origin of laughter". Psychol. R e v .. 1923, 30, 45-55.
more at length G. 3. Kali’s attempt to associate laughter with the ticklish zones of the hody but their explanation reduces itself finally to the "instinct of self-assertionH » Another theory which is worthy of mention here is the Gestalt interpretation sponsored by H. R. P. Maier and M. R. Harrower who have carried on the work of A. Piach. Their main point is that the properties inherent in the 1 structure (the comic situation) itself produce the laugh. The same idea is similarly expressed by Maier when he says that one must be prepared for thought-configuration which is necessary for the humorous experience and which, appear ing suddenly, brings a change of meaning in the harmonized
2 and unified elements that are experienced objectively. 3 It would be an oversight not to mention McDougall’a instinctive approach to laughter because much of the ex perimental work has been influenced by him. "Despite the clever and penetrating theories advanced the essential secret of laughter remains shrouded in mys4 tery." Yet, since so many explanations have been attempted
1. 2. 3. 4.
M. R. Harrower, ‘’Organization in higher mental processes” . Psychol. Porsch.« 1933, 12, p. 118. H. R. P. Maier, MA Gestalt theory of humor” . B r i t .. J. Psychol., 1932, 23, p. 73. W. McDougall, Outline of Psychology. Hew York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1923. S. Bliss, "The origin of laughter” . A m e r . J. Psychol. . 1915, 26, p. 236.
6 r to account for this common but rather inexplicable datum of experience,
the fact must be important.
then, do laugh, all appreciate in a particular way the joke, the comic situation, or the funny picture and all want others to believe that they have a keen sense of humor. In fact the one thing that these multifarious theories in sist upon is that laughter is something very real, something very human, something inherent, it seems in our very nature. Since man, alone of all creation, can laugh and does laugh, then the reason for his merriment, or in other words, the psychophysical phenomenon of humor becomes a fascinating problem and is the subject of investigation in this study.
CHAPTER II HISTORICAL SURVEY OR THE EXPERIMENTAL LITERATURE A review of the experimental literature on humor indi cates a real dearth of work in this field,
Whether it is
due to lack of interest or to the failure to secure data that can he considered objective, is not certain.
is that after G. S. Hall*s initial study in 1897, there was only a small number of scattered investigations until about 1925.
The majority of the work was done during the next
there have been comparatively few
experiments up to the latest one by Florence Brumbaugh in 1 1940. The ranking and the rating techniques have been employed most often in connection with diaries, question naires, and observational methods.
The types of material
used have not varied much, consisting chiefly of state ments of one kind or another, anecdotes, pictorial situations, etc.
Ruth Eastwood Perl, in the Psychological
2 Bulletin for 1933
has adequately reviewed the available
experiments up to that date.
R. Brumbaugh, “The place of humor in the curriculum1’. L* ex'Q• E d u c . , 1940, 8, 403-410. R. E. Perl, "A review of experiments on humor*. Psychol. B u l l .. 1933, 30. 752-763.
In her review, Perl took the chronological approach. Instead, we have thought to present the studies according to the manner in which the question has teen attacked in each investigation.
We shall review first of all those
experiments which have considered the subject from a developmental standpoint.
In this category, there are
ten works which deserve mention. Since the smile or the laugh is believed to be the 1 physical aspect of the phenomenon of humor, in the very young the appearance and growth of smiling have been taken as indices for the presence of this trait.
2 ing to visual and auditory stimulation, M. G. Jones reports that the youngest child to smile was a thirty-nine day old negro baby.
During the second month half of the cases
showed a positive response to a smile from an adult, chucking and to baby talk.
By the end of the third month
one hundred percent of the babies were smiling. 3 R. W. Washburn studied the contrast and similarity in the growth of smiling and laughing.
Using the normative
items from Gesell*s 1925 scale, she observed nine girls and six boys ranging from eight to fifty-two weeks at
Vide supra, p. 1. M. Q. Jones, MThe development of in young children". P e d . 3em.. R. W. Washburn, MA study of the of infants in the first year of Monogr., 1929, 6, 397-537.
early behavior patterns 1926, 3 3 . 537-585. smiling and laughing life". Genet. Psychol.
It is significant that even at this
early age there was a definite behavior that was character istic of the different age levels.
however, are in the frequency rather than in the form of smiling and laughing.
Laughing appears much later than
smiling and does not increase with age.
investigator believes that smiling is learned to a greater extent, is not as primitive in form as laughter and is used more as a means of communication.
is a correlate of chronological age, nor of mental age development, nor of physical condition* 1 Another study of Abbie Crandall Enders
R. W* Washburn’s conclusion in regard to the relation of smiling and laughing to intelligence.
In the group of pre
school children, from two to five years of age, there were practically the same number of laughs from the group of higher intelligence as from those of lower intelligence. All laughed most frequently when playing with children. Sound or motion (especially motion of themselves) or a combination of the two stimuli were much more effective than pictures or false faces.
The fact that the social and
personal elements were the same for all and that the three year olds laughed less than the younger or older children
A* C. Enders, WA study of the laughter of the preschool child11. Mich. A c a d . Sc., 1927, 8, 341-356.
would appear to be significant*
They seldom laughed when
with adults or when alone* This last observation was also mentioned in a study of the laughter of three year olds made by A. Gregg who is likewise of the opinion that if children must be alone very much of the time they should be provided with apparatus for stimuli*
Since the author did not find that different
situations brought out noticeable differences in responses, he felt that laughter was more a means of relaxation and a 1 “matter of temperament” . Although he got a negative coefficient of correlation between intelligence and laughter, he believes
that if humor were the problem under investi
gation there would be a high correlation*
This belief is
contrary to studies made at a later date on older children. In M* Kenderdine’s experiment with preschool children, however,
there is slight indication that those with higher
I* Q . *s laughed more frequently.
2 In this last named study
it is interesting to note
that for a period from February to June, the average number of laughs for the two year olds was 14; for those of three years, 6.2; and for those of four years, 6.5. made,
1. 2. l
too, of the fact that the youngest group laughed
A. Gregg, “An observational study of laughter in three year olds” . Columbia University. Unpublished Masters Essay, 1928, pp. 1-58. M. Kenderdine, “Laughter in the preschool child*. Child Levelpm., 1931, 2, 228-230. J
most at situations which involved motion of self; next at what they realized was socially unacceptable and finally, at the pleasure they received from an occupation or an accomplishment*
The middle group*s preferences were for
the socially unacceptable as well as for situations which involved make-believe and for those which necessitated an appreciation of humor.
Lastly, pleasure was derived from
themselves--their general well-being and happiness* All the investigations with preschool groups agree that those of three years of age laugh less than those 1 younger or older. Florence Justin makes an interesting point, however, when she says that coefficients of corre lation between I. Q. and length and number of responses at each age are positive.
Yet, they are highest at three
years, being then .40 and gradually decrease to .23, .24, and .12 at four, five and six years respectively.
are more responses to the incongruity type of humorous situation for those of higher I. Q. and for the older children.
The greater responsiveness for children from a
higher occupational group is consistent but not statistically significant.
F. Justin, ”A genetic study of laughter-provoking stimuli” . Child Levelpm., 1932, 3, 114-136.
1 F. Ding and A. T. Jersild
have made observations
in regard to the frequency of smiling and laughing with Chinese children.
The point they make that youngsters
of Oriental parentage laugh and smile as much as the Caucasians is important from a racial point of view.
conclusions referring to the relation of laughter and the other factors as studied in the previous investigations are practically the same.
These factors are motor activity as
a stimulus, frequency of response at different age levels, individual differences and social contacts.
vations of sex differences are slightly contrary to Florence Justirfs.
From the latterfs investigation girls
smile more and boys laugh more.
Ding and Jersild, however,
note that “girls showed a higher laughter frequency than boys at all ages.
Boys exhibited more smiles than girls
at three out of the four age levels, but the reliability
2 of the difference is not significant.1* 3 The study of W. E. Blatz et al. does not give us m u & 4 that is new experimentally. Where A. C. Enders was under
1. 2* 3. 4.
G. F. Ding and A. T. Jersild, "A study of laughing and smiling of preschool children1'. J. genet. Psychol., 1932, 40, 452-472. Ib i d .. p. 470. W. E. Blatz, K. D. Allin, D. A. Mi H i champ, "A study of laughter in the nursery school child.9 Child Develom.. 1936, #7, pp. 5-31. A. C. Enders, op.. c i t .
the impression that a piece of apparatus should he at hand as a stimulus for smiling or laughter, Blatz and his co workers do not helieve this to he effective.
is that ’’Laughter and prohahly smiling may he considered as socially acceptable tics or compensatory motor mechan isms accompanying the resolution of conflicts that have, for a shorter or longer period kept the individual on the 1 2 horns of a dilemma.11 Neither does C. W. Brackett men tion anything significant ahout laughter that has not heen noted previously.
Bor it is not surprising to learn that
the laughter pattern is consistent and that, too, in rou tine situations and over a period of years. The detailed questionnaire of G. Stanley Hall and 3 A. Allin in regard to tickling, laughter and the comic is important principally because it may he taken as the initial experimental study for the investigation of humor. Its main weakness is prohahly that it attempted to find out too much and consequently arrived at no definite conclu sions.
The theory proposed in it, however,
criticized, led to speculation hy others.
1. 2. 3.
W. E. Blatz, et al., op. ci t. C. W. Brackett, “Laughing and crying of preschool children*1. J. ex p. E d u c ., 1933, 2, 119-126. G. S. Hall and A. Allin, 0£. cit.
The next in order of time and most interesting for our 1 present problem is L. J. Martin’s psycho-physical approach. B y means of the Serial Method,
the Method of Constant
Differences and the Method of Averages, she draws interest ing observations as to the position of a picture, of exposure and the continuance of fun.
that the feeling of amusement arises from a detail rather than from the conception as a whole is contrary to Schiller’s more recent interpretation in which he maintains that the change between (l) the embarrassment in a queer situation and (2) the understanding of the connection is accompanied 2 by joy and this joy gives rise to laughter. H. L. Hollingworth follows up Martin’s idea of the decrease in funniness with repetition and finds out that there are waxing, waning and static jokes. group are the naive and calamity jokes;
In the waxing
the waning group
include^ the sharp retort, the pun, caricature, etc.; while the static group are those jokes which can not be put in any clear-cut category.
In the static jokes M two
tendencies are at work, the calamity element which waxes 3 and the retort element which wanes.”
1. 2. 3.
L. J. Martin, op., ci t . P. Schiller, HA configurational theory of puzzles and jokes11. J. gen. Psychol.. 1938, 217-234. H. L. Hollingworth, Exp er im e nt al studies of judgment of the comic11. Psychol. R e v ., 1911, 18, 132-256. J
In the use of the Kealy-Fernald Picture Completion Test to create incongruous situations, K. A. Walker and M. F. Washburn conclude that “ there is much more individual vari ation in the taste for the purely incongruous style of 1 humor among the adults than among children.*1 From an examination of the comic strip, H. C. Lehman and P. A. Witty assume that its universal appeal must be **due largely to the fact that it presents unhampered human activity through which the reader vicariously satisfies his thwarted and 2 restrained desires.*1 3 The investigation of 3. Allentuck indicates that positive suggestion will induce a great deal of humor. That the greatest changes in the causes of laughter from year to year may be associated with the periods of rapid 4 growth is the conclusion reached by C. W* Kimmins, from his analysis of funny stories and jokes recorded by 5 children of different ages. M. St. C. Eester has given
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
2£* A. Walker and M. F. Washburn, “The Healy-Fernald Picture Completion Test as a test of the perception of the comic**. Am e r. J. Psychol. , 1919, 3G, 304-307* H. C. Lehman and P. A. Witty, “The compensatory function of the Sunday funny paper*1. J. appl. Psychol.. 1927, 11, p. 210. S. Allentuck, “The effect of suggestion on humor**. Columbia University, Unpublished Masters Essay, 1929, pp. 1-60. C. W. Kimmins, “An investigation of the sense of humour in school children**. R e p . B ri t. Ass. A d v . Science, 1921, p. 449. M. ST. C. Hester, “Variations in the sense for humor according to age and mental condition*’. Columbia University, Unpublished Plasters Essay, 1924, pp. 1-53* j
a supplement to this last study by indicating what seem to be the elements in the humorous situations which call for these changes*
Surprise is the most prominent factor
in the jokes of those of kindergarten age*
of physical calamity are funnier for those in the preschool and for those from seven to ten years of age than for college girls; while the latter appreciate the naive joke and the play on words. two abnormal cases.
In this same study were included
From their reactions, it appeared that
the insane were unable to tell an original joke;
have less appreciation for the ludicrous and in a great majority of cases found nothing funny at all in the jokes. Several studies have been made on humor and its rela tion to temperament, or personality.
All of them have used
subjects of high school or college ages. individual differences,
All of them note
slight sex differences and positive
correlation between sense of humor and sociability.
was found little relationship between social background and intelligence.
It is interesting to note that an
*appreciation of puns and punning facility were not related 1 to the evaluation of puns in the questionnaire*'. In another instance, the humor test seems to indicate a
L. Omwake, “A study of sense of humors its relation to sex, age and personal character is tics"•_£. ano1 . Psychol*. 1927, 2JL, p. 703. J
“personality factor which is relatively independent and which reflects the influence of social training and habit 1 formation*. Because there is apparent emotional maturity as shown by a high score on Willoughby’s scale does not necessarily mean that there is present & great sense of
2 humor. There is another opinion that “ topics which may evoke a humorous reaction in an individual seem to be frequently ’loaded* for that individual with an unpleasant emotional 3 effect.* H. A. Murray together with E. A. Wolff and E. Smith have followed up the finding of E. Barry that for one subject, who rated very high jokes which involved aggression and combat,
the reaction time to words of
violence was rather prolonged.
E. A. Murray believes that
when one laughs at jokes of derision there is present repressed hate.
Using the method of rank-differences, he
found that the score on his Disparagement Poke Test corre lated .81 with Social-Asocial Sentiments test and .67 with the Conservative-Hadical Test.
1. 2. 3.
He believes these results
G. Landis and W. H. Ross, “Humor ana its relation to other personality traits0 . J. soc. Psychol.. 1933, 4, p. 73. H. P. Stump, “Sense of humor and its relationship to personality, scholastic aptitude, emotional maturity, height and weightM . J. gen. Psychol.. 1939, 2 G » 25-32. H. Barry, “The role of subject matter in individual differences in humor'1. J. genet. Psychol., 1928, 35, p. 122.
indicate that "the enjoyment of derisive humor is assocated with the possession of egocentric individualistic, aggress1 ive and world-derogatory sentiments*" In another investigation jokes which disparaged Jews, others that ridiculed Gentiles and a control set of Scott ish ones were all presented to six Jews and to nine G-entiles. The authors are of the opinion that Since individuals...do not laugh at misadventures or discreditable aspects of objects for which it is certain they possess positive sentiments...(but) do laugh at the expense of unaffiliated objects, then, specially constructed jokes might provide us with a means of discovering in an indirect fashion...the sentiments of subjects with whom we are acquainted. Since H. R. P. Maier's consideration of the Gestalt 3 theory of humor, there seem to be only three investiga tors who have followed up the idea. has been mentioned before.
The work of P. Schiller
With the joke as a non-percept
tual unit, M. R. Harrower sought to discover the use of organization in this sphere.
She says, "the presence of
organization must involve meaning, since by a change in the one we can bring about a change in, or even absence of the 4 other." The third author, R. N. Sears, is more interested
1. 2. 3. 4. L
H. A. Murray, "The psychology of humor'4. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol . , 1934, 29, p. 80. H. A. Wolff, G. E. Smith and H. A.Murray, "The psychol ogy of humor". J. abnorm.soc. Psychol.. 1934, 2 8 . 341-365. U. R. i1. Maier, op. cit. M. R. Harrower, lop. cit. J
in the closure effect.
He "believes that there are three
aspects which are characteristic of the humor situation. The first is the schema which is the tendency in the very beginning towards closure.
This is followed by a disloca
tion with a second tendency towards the closure effect. In the second place, there is a thema, the pattern of whidi includes the end result along with the activity leading to it.
there are the real causes of humor - persona,
places or abstractions.
The past life of the subjects
will determine the relation he will have to these three aspects.
The mirth-provoking responses are changed consid1 erably by isolating any one of these three factors. More in keeping with our present investigation are the techniques and the procedures as well as the factors stud ied in the following articles.
contradictory in one respect.
Two of them, however, are H. A. Scofield claims that
pictures will produce laughter more quickly than jokes. The basis for this conclusion is that since breathing is decreased and inhibited during the thinking process,
more thought involved in a ludicrous situation the lower 2 3 will be the respiration. N. F. Stump, though, believes that humor is measured better by verbal jokes than by pictures.
1. 2. *-3.
R. H. Sears, "Dynamic factors in the psychology of humor". Harvard University, Unpublished Doctors Dissertation, 1934, 1-225. K. A. Scofield, "The psychology of laughter". Columbia University, Unpublished Masters Essay, 1921, pp. 1-66. Stump, op. cit. J
The question of intelligence and academic standing in relation to humor is an interesting one ahout which there is rather close agreement.
High scores on the American
Council of Education Test do not necessarily indicate the 1 presence of a sense of humor. In another investigation it appeared that academic standing had no influence upon either the superiority or inferiority type as classified
2 by Polyxenie Kambouroupoulou.
G. E. Bird, however,
found that there was a correlation between success in a 3 humor test and the I. Q.'s of the subjects. The classifications made by P. Kambouroupoulou from an analysis of 100 "humor* diaries are very pertinent to our work and we shall give them in detail here. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6*
laughter without any objective cause, laughter which has a physical objective cause, laughter where the objective cause is the mental inferiority of another, laughter which makes another inferior because of a personally directed answer, a witty remark or teasing, laughter due to the incongruity of an idea. 4 laughter due to the incongruity of a situation.
In the same study,
the author feels that the consistent
individual differences correspond pretty much with tempera mental tendencies.
3. 4. L
For instance, extroversion is related
Ibid. P. Kambouroupoulou, “Individual differences in the sense of humor and their relation to temperamental differences'*. A m e r . J. Psychol., 1926, 32, 268-278. G. E. Bird, "An objective test for children". Psychol. Bu ll .. 1925, 22, 137-138. P. Kambouroupoulou, op. cit.. p. 269-274 • j
to the superiority type of humor which is found coupled ■with confidence more than with sociability* Florence Brumbaugh found that fairy tales are more amusing than other kinds of stories for children in grades three to six, as well as drawings in which animals behave 1 like humans. Her findings agree closely with C. W. Kimminsr. The latter, however, having used the visual stimulus as well as the verbal, believes that the "funny sight" will remain more popular than the story*
He also mentions that fairy
stories are selected for particular types and become more extravagant as the youngsters get older.
Here he notices
also the fact that the misfortunes of others become humor ous and this seems to be the "parting of the ways of the
2 appeal of the verbal and the visual". The only investigation that has been done exclusively on the relation of the social factor with humor, is that of Ruth Eastwood Perl.
The visually presented joke, she says,
is considered much funnier than when it is presented vocally. However, those given vocally are funnier than those judged in private.
As would be expected social facilitation has 3 much more influence on poor jokes than on good ones*
1. 2. 3.
P. Brumbaugh, o p . cit. C. W. Kimmins, 0£. cit. , p. 95. R. E. Perl, *The influence of a social factor upon the appreciation of humor". A m e r . J. Psychol.. 1933, 4 5 . 308-312. J
In this review of the literature of humor, we must not fail to mention two tests which have had a rather wide circulation. in 1928.
The first one is J. C. Almack's constructed
The two forms of this test have one hundred
Forms were obtained by comparing the scores
of about one thousand individuals, including college stu dents, professors, elementary and high school pupils, an unselected group not in school and about twenty married 1 couples, with the ratings of competent judges. Each person rated himself also on his sense of humor*, The second test is one prepared by A. A. Roback, the first edition of which appeared in 1939. three parts.
It consists of
In Part A there are ten jokes which the
individuals are to rank from 1 to 10.
Part B has twenty
questions pertaining to one*s sense of humor and are to be answered by either Yes or Ho.
Part C says:
"State in a
sentence or two why you think your sense of humor is comparatively good, or why this test is not apt to show it
2 to advantage. Fo evaluation of either of these tests has been made although P. F. Stump did use Alm ack ’s in his study "Sense of humor and its relationship to personality, scholastic
1. 2. l
J. C. Almack, "Sense of humor test". 1928, 116. 567-573. A. A. Roback, "Sense of Humor Test". Set-Art Publishers, 1939.
Century Magazine. Cambridge, Mass., J
1 aptitude, emotional maturity, height and weight*.
personal letter received from Dr. Roback he sayss ...Although there have been many that have used the test, I have not come across any discussion of the results. Erom my own observations in my University Extension classes, I did come to the conclusion that the test does probe the sense of humor, but I haven’t any statistics to substantiate this. ... He has devised a scoring key but has no adequately estab lished norms. Erom this review of the literature,
therefore, it is
difficult to find very much that is clear-cut and definite. The six types of humor named by P. Kambouroupoulou are suggestive, as well as her conclusion that academic stand-
2 ing has little or no influence upon these types. experimental findings,
too, indicate that the presence of
a sense of humor is something more than a function of intelligence or of emotional maturity.
The genetic studies
are enlightening as to the physical aspects of smiling and laughing and the investigations from the Gestalt point of view are interesting because of their historical importance but from all these studies one finds little that is crucial. In the majority of the experiments, work has been done either with pre-school children or with college men and
E. U. Stump, op. c i t . P. Kambouroupoulou, 0£. cit.
Very few investigatora have made observations of
the feamor of the elementary grade children and with the 1 2 3 exception of C. W. Kimmins, R. E. Wells, and L. Omwake, there is no consideration of boys or girls of high school age.
the measuring instruments used in practically
all of the studies have not been very objective.
baugh carefully examined the drawings and stories of pupils 4 in grades three to six for possible age differences. 5 C. W. Kimmins analyzed humorous stories and jokes of a great number of children to discover elements that provoke laughter from year to year.
Yet both these investigations
are open to the criticism of subjectivity due to the personal element which is always present in such a treat ment of date*
6 G. E. Bird's Objective Humor Test nearest thing, up to the present, ing instrument.
is probably the
to an objective measur
The twenty pictures of absurd situations
which are arranged from practically zero humor through the plainly ridiculous are marked by pairs.
scores for each particular grade is the norm for that grade.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. l_6.
C. W. Kimmins, oja. cit. R. E. Wells, "A study of tastes in humorous literature among pupils of junior and senior high schools'*. J. E d u c . R e c .. 1934, 28, 81-91. L. Omwake, "Factors influencing the sense of humor". £• soc. . Psychol. 1S39, 1C), 95-104. F. Brumbaugh, "Stimuli which cause laughter in children". Hew York University, Unpublished Dissertation,193^ jp. 1-175. G. W. Kimmins, 0£. ci t. G. E. Bird, o p . c i t . J
It is to be used from kindergarten through the eighth grade.
From the decisions of five hundred subjects,
was found that ’’General agreement prevailed with sufficient variation to justify the assignment of different score 1 values for the achievement of various grades”. Therefore,
this present study is designed to fill an
evident gap in age range of subjects used in the experi ments on humor.
This is our reason for choosing grades
six to twelve.
By means of the scaling technique we have
hoped to get more reliable results than can be obtained from diaries, from questionnaires or from direct and in direct observational methods and to analyze with less subjectivity the data secured from such a scale.
is offered a more objective instrument for measuring a trait that is so universal and so important.
and reliability of this scale may be inferred from the data obtained from its application to about seven hundred girls from the sixth to the twelfth grade*
CHAPTER III THE SCALIKG T3CHHIQ.UE m t s of a Reliable Scale
The problem of measuring social attitudes is, com paratively speaking, very recent.
More recent, yet, is the
application of the psychometrica.1 methods to their measure ment, for the first attempts were almost exclusively “by way of getting verbal responses through questionnaires, rating of verbal symbols in gradations of liking-disliking 1 and asking people for preferences, desires or interests11. Later, methods of absolute and relative ranking,
rating scale and paired comparisons were widely used. Then assuming that attitudes are verbal opinions, their measurements “range all the way from the simple summation of judgments of true and false statements to very elabo—
2 rate attempts to construct a rational scale of equal steps11. The merits and demerits of all these various methods have painstakingly enumerated by many authorities, of 3 4 which two reliable ones are J. P. Guilford and D. D. Lroba.
1. R. Bain, “Theory and measurement of attitudes and opinions Psychol. Bu ll .. 1S3C, 27, 357-379. 2. Ibid. 3. J. P. Guilford. Psychometric Methods, Hew York, McGrawHill Book Company, Inc., 1936, pp. 23-214. 4. D.,D. Droba, “Methods for measuring attitudes11. Psychol. B u l l . . 29, 3C9-323. L
The construction of a scale of attitudes by equal-appearing intervals has been carefully explained by L. L. Thurstone 1 and E. J. Chave in the Measurement of Attitudes, Although 2 R. Likert considers this a costly and laborious way and questions the statistics! assumptions, yet he admits that, up to the present at least,
it is by far the best devised
me thod. The requirements of a well-constructed attitude scale, fcy means of this technique of equal-appearing intervals, 3 have been set forth in detail by 1. W. Ferguson. The first requisite which he mentions is 11that it gives results 4 corresponding to an underlying physical order1*. Although there are no directly objective measures for the amount of humor in a cartoon yet the scaling technique will **enable us to assign rather accurate psychological values to such 5 stimuli without knowledge of any corresponding R values11. Secondly, it is necessary that "Scale values of state ments chosen as landmarks (should) not be affected by other 6 items in the scale**. It often happens in paired comparisons
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. L
L. L. Thurstone and E. J. Chave, The Measur ement of Atti tude. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 111., 1932, Pp. 96. R. Likert, HA technique for the measurement of attitudes A r c h . Psychol.. 1932, #140, p. 6. L. W. Ferguson, **The requirements of an adequate attitude scale4*. Psychol. B u l l . . 1939, 36, 665-573. Ibid. J. P. Guilford, op. c i t ,, p. 217. L. W. Ferguson, op. cit., p. 666.
and in the oraer-of-merit that irrelevance in scale differ ences Hiay not always he detected.
To determine the
relevance or internal consistency of an item is one means of validating the scale.
The simplest way of doing this
is to select pairs of statements which have approximately the same scale values.
These pairs will receive practically
the same number of endorsements if they are relevant.
the equal-appearing intervals technique ”One can substitute items having similar scale values for one another without 1 affecting in any way the scale values of the other items*. Thirdly, the ”attitudes of persons taking the test (should) not affect, markedly, the scale values of the 2 3 statements” . Leuenberger, Uhrbrock as well as Perguson have shown rather conclusively that in the method of equal-appearing intervals ”scale values based upon the responses of fifty, or even as few as twenty-five persons correlate near unity with those based on the responses of 4 three or four hundred” . The fourth demand of an adequate attitude scale is that it be specific in content.
appears to be easily attained by all scales. The fifth and sixth requirements, validity and relia bility, are all important.
1• 2. 4. L-
Yet, Thurstone has allowed for
Ibi d. Ibid. JJliiL* > P* 667. Ibid. j
both in his particular
The criterion of internal
consistency or irrelevancy has been mentioned before.
idation is also secured during the course of constructing the scale ”in that only those items which a sufficient number of persons allocate to the same scale position are 1 chosen for retention in the scale” . The test of internal consistency used for validity is also an indirect measure of reliability for a test that is valid must necessarily be reliable,
though the converse is not always true.
Finally, Ferguson maintains that the scale Hshould be
2 a measure of a linear continuum” .
To be sure that this
requirement was satisfied, Thurstone applies both his test of ambiguity which depends upon the standard error of the distribution, and also his test of irrelevancy. For,
the “assumption is that all relevant opinions lie
on the linear scale that extends between the two extremes of the scale.
An irrelevant statement lies off at one 3 side of this line” . In view of the possibilities which the equal-appearing
intervals technique presents for the construction of a scale of humor, and because it has been more carefully standardized for measuring attitudes than the other methods, we determined to use it for judging the comic pictures,
1• 2. 3. L
Ibid. Ibi d. J. P. Guilford, op. cit.. p. 162. -J
material used in our experiment instead of statements. We shall follow rather closely, with few departures,
eight steps for the collection and elimination of material 1 suggested by Thurstone. Steps in Construction of a Scale After determining what the attitude variable shall be, the first step in the construction of a scale is to "start out with a large number of statements (ours were cartoons)
2 from which select a smaller number**. liminary rating,
Even in this pre
the smaller number should be selected so
that they are quite evenly spaced from one another.
this way is formed a base line from which it is possible to calculate measures of central tendency and dispersion. These are the second and third steps mentioned by 3 Thurstone for the scaling technique. It is next suggested that this smaller number be sorted by Hseveral hundred subjects into ten piles of equal appear 4 ing intervals11. Instead of ten piles, we had our forty subjects in the preliminary rating
sort the eighty cartoons,
in each of the eight categories, into five piles.
1. 2* 3.
L. L. Thurstone, "The measurement of opinion*1. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol.. 1928, 32, 415-430. Ibid,, p. 429. Ibid. Ibid.. p. 430.
31 “i be seen from the directions given in the Appendix, for our purpose, five piles seemed more definite and clear-cut. We have not "been particularly interested in the phi-gamma function of the cumulative frequencies,
the fifth step in
the procedure. In conformity with the sixth step, however, we ha^e determined the scale values *by a procedure analogous to 1 the Calculation of the limen of the 5G$ point*, or in other words,
by the calculation of the medians of the
distributions, we reduced the original six hundred and forty cartoons to one hundred and sixty.
hundred and sixty, in turn, were sorted by one hundred subjects in the same manner as the six hundred and forty. After computing the medians and quartile deviations of the one hundred and sixty cartoons,
the sixty-four pictures'
which were finally chosen were the ones which could be more evenly spaced in the scale. mentioned by Thurstone.
This is the last step
*The scale would consist of a
selection of statements (ours are cartoon^ which are as f&r as possible evenly spaced on the scale and which have
2 the highest precision*.
It is possible, however,
a Hscale can be constructed with a series of opinions al located on the base line even though their base line
1. 2. L
Ibid. L. L. Thurstone, l o c . c i t .» p. 430. -J
32 1 separations are not uniform*,
“l and that such a scale will
be valid and reliable* The two succeeding chapters give the method and procedure employed in the present investigation and a description of our scale of cartoons.
From these chapters
it will be immediately evident that the criteria for con structing a scale have been faithfully followed and that the scale itself has adequately fulfilled the specified requirements of a well-devised measuring instrument of attitudes.
Its validity and reliability will be yet more
clearly established by the application of the scale.
L. L. Thurstone and S. J. Chave, op. cit.., p. 17.
CHAPTER IT METHOD AKD PROCEDURE Technique for the Collection and Selection of the Material After giving due consideration to all the methods by which material has been obtained for previous experi ments,
it seemed as if an entirely new approach would be
to have the subjects themselves do the collecting.
our problem has been to construct a scale by which we could study, for girls from grades six to twelve, responses to the humor in cartoons, we determined to secure from individuals in these seven grades pictorial situations bearing a humorous caption which would be of their own choosing.
The main reason was to have cartoons which,
having been selected by them, would be more likely to be better appreciated by them also. though,
We fully realized,
that this factor could not be controlled perfectly
since they would have to use the magazines which were readily available.
In many cases, we are conscious of
the fact that the sources of the material were not so varied as would have been desired.
Considering this lim
itation, however, we felt that the plan still had many advantages, not the least of which was, restricted sources, L
that even with
there was chance of some selection on J
”l their part.
At least, we had from the very beginning
their own cartoons and pictures and these have been used exclusively. Consequently, directions for collection were sent to three elementary schools, Hazareth in South Boston, St, Philip Heri and Our Lady of Refuge in the Bronx to have pupils who were enrolled in their sixth, seventh and eighth grades submit at least one hundred humorous car toons or pictures from each class.
were given to four high schools, Bazareth High in South Boston, Our Lady of Lourdes in Manhattan, Mount St, Ursula in the Bronx, and the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Hoboken, Hew Jersey,
These schools too were to ob
tain approximately one hundred cartoons or pictures from each of the four high school classes. There were, of course, certain rules to which the pictures submitted must conform.
Hirst of all, they
should be only black and white, should bear a caption and should not be too large, about three by four inches or four by five inches. the Appendix,
The exact instructions appear in
ho restrictions, as was indicated above,
were placed upon the source of their material and the fact that Saturday Evening Post, Collier*s, and in a few instances, Ladies Home Journal, Liberty and the Hew Yorker were the principal sources perhaps means nothing more than that these magazines were the only ones available at the l
Comic strips and serials such as The Neighbors.
Off the Record , etc. were taken from newspapers but in the final selection these were excluded as not meeting the requirements, as well as the magazine serials like B u t c h , Little L u l u , Hardtack, etc.
This was considered
necessary because it was thought that such pictures might influence the judgments of the raters to a great extent.
For serials running for a long time, as they do,
create a definite impression which is either favorable or unfavorable.
Such preconceived opinions,
invalidate future attitudes. In all, between two and three thousand pictures were collected.
After those which did not satisfy the require
ments were discarded,
there were left about twelve hundred;
approximately seven hundred from the grades and five hundred from the high school.
Even in this number were
some which did not satisfactorily conform to the instruc tions given for collection. supply of duplicates.
There were also quite a
From the twelve hundred, six
hundred and forty were finally selected.
and twenty of these were taken from the cartoons sub mitted by the grades and the other three hundred and twenty were from the entries made by the high schools.
ffirst Grouping of Pictures Before anything else could he done,
it was necessary
to make some kind of grouping of the pictures.
several sortings eight categories were agreed upon by the experimenter and by one other judge.
(l) Men; (6) Ani
(7) Sports and (8) Soldiers* Table I indicates for each of the categories, after
the discards had been taken out, the number of pictures submitted by the high schools and the corresponding number from the elementary grades along with the per centages for each of the classifications.
It is inter
esting to note that the percentage of each kind of picture for the two groups is very similar.
quite possible that this may imply only that the materi al available to the children for selection showed approximately these percentages.
The cartoons concerning
Men are definitely in the majority followed by pictures of Soldiers and Women.
All these facts were taken into
consideration when the three hundred and twenty pictures from each of the groups were selected.
TABUS I NUMBER 01? PICTURES SUBMITTED AND PERCENTAGES EOR EACH CATEGORY
GEL p E S
! ! i i i o> ! Oj l ^ !
1 i ! 1 £> O •i i
1 1 j
Eor this first elimination, it was desirable that the girls from the high school and from the grammar school should sort separately the different groups of forty pictures each.
Hence it was necessary to try to select
the required number of pictures for both.
This was easy
where the joke centered around the men-folk because more of these had been presented. however,
Eor some of the categories,
it was difficult to get this many.
we grouped the cartoons for Women and Romance, and took twenty of each kind for each group of subjects. L
The same -I
thing was done for Sports and Soldiers.
Since there were
fewer pictures presented for Cars, Animals and Children, it was necessary to combine these three in order to obtain the same number as was used in the other sections. The four categories to which the eight had now been assigned werec
(B) Women and Romance;
(C ) Cars,
Children and Animals; and (D) Sports and Soldiers,
purpose of this entire procedure was to eliminate at least three-fourths of the original entries, i.e., reduce
the number of pictures from six hundred and forty
to one hundred and sixty. Preliminary Rating and ffirat Elimination The first rating of the pictures was done by the Method of Equal-Appearing Intervals.
The subjects received
instructions to sort each of the groups of eighty pictures into five piles according to the amount of humor found in them. the Appendix.
The detailed directions may be found in It was possible to work with four subjects
at one time, or even eight at a time if the pupils from all seven grades were accessible during the same period. In this way each individual started out on a different group of pictures.
Since the question of satiety in
humor is important,
this constant rotation took care that
no one group of cartoons would be always judged last. This procedure, likewise, eliminated the contrast effect l
since the groups of pictures were never ranked in exactly the same order.
The errors of habituation as well as
fatigue and practice effect were partially cancelled out by having the subjects sort only two groups at one time and return later to finish the last two. The subjects for this preliminary experiment were forty girls,
twenty from grades VI, VII, VIII and twenty
from grades IX, X, XI, XII enrolled at St. Mary's Academy, Leonardtown, Maryland.
The twenty subjects from the high
school separated each of their four groups of eighty pictures into five piles.
After each rating the cards
on which the pictures were mounted were turned over and the numbers on the reverse side were written down on a form made out especially for that purpose.
cards were well shuffled for the next individual.
process continued until the three hundred and twenty pictures had been sorted. The procedure for the twenty subjects from grades VI, VII, and VIII was exactly the same, and in this way eighty pictures or one-fourth of the original number were selected from each of the groups.
In this selection were
included those pictures which were most consistently rated by the grades and by the high school as judged by the medi ans and the quartile deviations of the individual pictures.
”i The cartoons had. "been sorted into five piles, tut the
medians of no one of them fell exactly on one or on five. There mould be then four definite positions on the scale for the cartoons to occupy.
The first positions mould
he between one and two; the second, between two and three; the third, between three and four and the fourth, between four and five.
Consequently, we tried, as far as possible,
in choosing the eighty pictures from the eight categories for both the high school and for the grades,
to get a
comparable number which represented each of the four distinctly separate locations. Afterwards,
these eighty pictures from each of the
two groups were combined and these one hundred and sixty were ranked in a similar manner in a second experiment by subjects from each of the seven grades.
gives the number of subjects and the average age for each group who took part in this first rating. TABLE II HUMBER OS SUBJECTS AKD AVERAGE AGE IH YEARS EOR EACH GRABS I I I PRELIMINARY RATING _
AVE. AGE 11.3 11.7 112.5
TOTAL 20 VI . 8
13.6 14.5 Il5 . 6 17.1
TOTAL 20 15.2
Second Rating and Burther Elimination
In this second experiment which might he divided into two sections, A and B, were used the one hundred and sixty pictures which were obtained from the first pro cedure,
In Table III will be found the eight categories
into which the pictures have been grouped and their distribution.
Table IV indicates the number of subjects
and the average age for each grade in this second rating procedure, In Part A, fifty subjects (twenty from Grades VI, VII, VIII and thirty from Grades IX, X, XI, X I I ) from St. M a r y ’s Academy, Leonardtovn, Maryland were used. Part B, were used fifty subjects
(twenty from Grades VI,
VII, VIII and thirty from Grades IX, X, XI, X I I ) from Mt. St. Ursula Academy, Bronx.
In the tables referring
to this second experiment and in all the explanations of the procedure and in the analysis of the data, S. M. A. will be employed consistently to designate St, M a r y ’s Academy and M. S. U. will be used for Mount St. Ursula Academy.
TABLE III CATEGORIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE 160 PICTURES SELECTED AFTER THE PRELIMINARY RATING
dumber from Grades 9,10,11,12
Number from Grades 6,7,8 TOTAL
SPORTS SOLDIERS TOTAL
In all the preliminary ratings different subjects were used from experiment to experiment.
then, the one hundred individuals from S.M.A. and M.S.U. as shown in Table IV below were not the same as those used in .the first elimination process.
judgments have not been influenced by having seen the cartoons previously.
LUMBER OF SUBJECTS A ED AVERAGE AGE IN YEARS FOR EACH GRADE IN SECOND RATING
NUMBER AYE. AGE
5 I i U. 5 | 33.1
A Y E . AGE 33.9
VIII I ! 1 i HSU | SKA j MSU
|..-8 ! 1 t | 32.9 |
i MSU j SMA MSU SMA
j 5 t
343. 35.6 136.6 34 5
Because we felt that one hundred and sixty pictures were too many to rate at once and in order to save time, we divided them, then into two random groups of eighty pictures each*
These were ag^in sorted into five piles
according to the amount of humor found in them.
instructions for doth Part A and Part B are the same as for the preliminary rating and may he found in the Appendix.
Two subjects could thus work together and the
possibility of rotation, in this instance as well as in the first rating, helped to eliminate the effect of habit uation with the possible decrease in the humor value of
As in the preliminary experiment,
were turned over after each sorting and the numbers on the reverse side were recorded. shuffled for the next individual.
They were then well The medians and the
qu&rtile deviations were computed for each of these one hundred and sixty pictures in Part A. After the same procedure was followed in Part B, the medians and quartile deviations were similarly cal culated and compared with those obtained from the first experiment.
The first and main reason for this compari
son was to determine which were the best pictures to be included in the two scale forms (thirty-two pictures each). Therefore, in order to have
the two forms as compar
able as possible, we thought it necessary that the scale values from the two groups of girls,
those from St. Mary's
Academy and those from Mt. Saint Ursula, should agree rather closely.
this close agreement or internal
consistency, as Thurstone calls it, would be a test of validity as well as an indirect measure of reliability. It was desirable, too, that the variability be faixly low; i.e., that the quartile deviations be less than 1.00; at least less than 1.25.
Unless this were so, we could
not say that a picture represented any particular scale value for it might fall in any one of the four positions. Another important factor also was that the pictures selected dbould represent the eight categories previously l
45 referred to in Table III.
If we "were to have a well
spaced scale the medians of the pictures choseD must be spread rather evenly over the four rating division; i.e., between the scale values 1-5.
Just how well this require
ment was taken care of may be inferred from an examination of the graphic representation of the scale, Figure'I. In accordance with the above criteria, choice was made of sixty-four pictures for the final scale forms, hew scale values, based on all of the one hundred subjects were then obtained for
these sixty-four pictures by com
bining the distributions and computing different and qusrrtile deviations. and the
Table V shows the scale values
pictures which com
prise the eight categories of Form I and Form II of the scale* It must be remembered that this scale was constructed from the judgments of one hundred individuals by the ifethod of Equal-Appearing Intervals.
The real test of
its reliability has been its application, where, by means of the rank-order procedure, over seven hundred subjects within our age range have given their opinions of the humor of the same cartoons*
--- p !*«•••'l—
4? "1 TABLE V M E D IA N S AMD q . D . ' S FORM I
FOR THE 3 2 P IC T U R E S IN AMD I N FORM I I
FORM I 1 ” --------------MEDIAE' MEN
M E D IA E
C H IL D R E N
Q ,.D .
1 . 58
1 .1 2
FORM I I
1 .1 8
TABLE V (continued)
■ I 1.21 .. ij i 1.06
• 00 03
2.67 03 • o 0
----- j- -.-...
| 1 t j i j
.... ..... 1.87
Correlations of the Ratings of the Two Preliminary Groups In the preceding section it was shown that a group of fifty subjects from S. M. A. and the same number from M. S, U. rated the one hundred and sixty pictures which had been selected cess,
after the very first elimination pro
The medians and the quartile deviations of the
ratings of these two groups of subjects were computed and the agreement between them may be noted from the correla tion coefficients in Tables VI and VII,
the median scale values for each one of the one hundred and sixty, as given by the two groups (S, M. A. and M. S. U,), were correlated.
The Pearson r of ,83 with
a PEr t .016 indicates a fairly high consistency from group to group and gives us a measure of the reliability of the ratings of the one hundred and sixty cartoons from which were taken the sixty-four final scale.
that appear in the
The correlation was slightly lower, as
should be expected, when the ratings from the elementary grades and from the high school were taken separately. These coefficients were ,80 and .66 respectively.
correlation coefficients between high school and grade ratings of the one hundred and sixty cartoons were .52 for S. M. A. and ,60 for M. S. II.
We thought it worthwhile also to cheek on the con sistency of the ratings of each of the eight categories for the two groups.
That is, we took the medians of the
ratings of the pictures in each of the categories and hy the Method of Rank-Differences computed the rho for each between the two groups of one hundred subjects.
turn, was converted into Pearson r according to Table 45 in Garrett*s Statistics in Psychology and Education, p. 362. These are the coefficients which appear in Table VII. TABLE VI CORRELATIONS OP THE RATINGS PROM 3. M. A. AND M. S. U. ON 160 PICTURES
RATINGS PROM S. M. A. AND M. 3. U.
Por all seven Grades (S.M.A. and M.S.Uj .86
Por Grades VI. VII, VIII
Por Grades IX, Por Elementary High School S. Por Elementary High School M.
X, XI, XII Grades and M. A. Grades and S. U.
TABLE VII THE RHO'S OE THE EIGHT CATEGORIES TRAHSMUTED IHTO PEARSON r Ts
RATIHGS EROM THE CATEGORIES
o> CO .
o CO •
SUMMARY By the method of Equal-Appearing Intervals, over two thousand cartoons,
submitted by girls from grades
six to twelve, have been reduced to sixty-four which make up two comparable forms of a thirty-two point scale. By the Rank Order Method,
these two scales have been
applied to over seven hundred girls from the same grades but in different schools.
The successive steps in this
elimination process as well as the number of cartoons and the number of subjects used in each part of the pro cedure have been summarized in Table VIII. L
SUMMARY TABLE OE PRELIMINARY PROCEDURES
CARTOONS REDUCED FROM TO
SCALE STANDARD XZAT IdF
2 Eorms- 32 each
RATERS 1 adult
2 adults 40 girls
53 CHAPTER V PROCEDURES USED IE R APHID G THE SCALE Explanation and Application The preceding chapters have been mainly concerned in tracing step by step the construction of a scale of car toons.
The final problem is now to determine just how
successful this technique has been in measuring, for the several age groups, the responses to the humor of certain cartoons. The scale, however, is not intended to measure a person's sense of humor and therefore we are not assign ing individuals particular places along the base line. Instead, we are more concerned about responses to each single picture, and about the consistency with which the cartoons maintain their relative scale locations. this purpose in view,
two main procedures were used alter
nately on each of the two forms of the scale.
ranking of one form the subjects were given eight sets of four cartoons each.
This we shall refer to as the Scale
Ranking (S. R . ) or Procedure A. These four cartoons represented the four distinct scale positions for each of the following categories? Men, Women, Romance, Children, Cars, Animals, Sports, and Soldiers.
They were to be ranked from I, the car
toon the subject thought was the funniest,
to 4, the
cartoon she considered the least funny of all.
the thirty-two pictures, which comprise each form of the entire scale, were too many to rank together this method of ranking separately the four cartoons in the different classifications offered a solution to the problem of coping with a large number of pictures and at the same time presented an opportunity for determining how well the pictures had been placed on the scale. For the ranking of the second form of the scale every subject was given four sets of eight cartoons each, each set to be assigned a Classification Ranking (C. R.). The first set contained the cartoons which had been se lected originally as occupying the first scale position in the eight categories.
In the second set were the
eight cartoons for the second scale position, etc.
subjects ranked each of these sets from 1, the cartoon which they thought the funniest,
to 8, the least funny
of all. From the first procedure,
the ranking of the eight
sets of four cartoons each, it has been possible to note the positional effect of the cartoons on the base line. By means of the second procedure,
the ranking of
the four sets of eight cartoons each, we have been able to follow up from age to age the differences and the similarities in the responses to the pictures in the eight categories. l
In this application of the scale, Procedure A will refer to the Scale Ranking
(3. R . ) ana Procedure B to
the Classification Rankings (C. R.).
The directions for
each of these separate rankings are the following; PROCEDURE A 1.
out the record blank for Hame, Age, and so forth.
sort the cards given you in the following manners
There are here 8 sets of cards with 4 in a set. Take the first 4 in Set I and arrange them in order from 1 to 4 according to how funny you think they are. Humber 1 will be the funniest, number 2, next funni est, etc. When you have done this, turn the cards over and write on your record blank in the four spaces under Cards for Set I, the three or four letter words on the back of the cards. Write only above the dotted line. Clip the four cards together again. Begin ,on Set II and do the same thing as you did for Set I. Then continue in the same way for the remain ing six sets* Be sure to copy for each set as you finish it the code words from the back of the cards. PROCEDURE B 1.
Fill out the record blank for
Then sort the
Hame, Age, and so forth.
cards given you in the following manner:
There are here 4 sets of cards with 8 in a set. Take the first 8 in Set I and arrange them in order from 1 to 8 according to how funny you think they are. Humber 1 will be the funniest, number 2, next funniest, etc. When you have write on your Cards for Set l
done this, turn the cards over and record blank in the eight spaces under I, the three or four letter words on J
the hack of the cards* line.
Write only above the dotted
Clip the eight cards together again. Begin on Set II and do the same thing as you did for Set I. Then continue in the same way for the remain ing three sets. Be sure to copy for each set as you finish it the code words from the hack of the cards. For clarification, we shall mention now the termin ology which we shall use consistently when speaking of these two procedures in the administration of the scale. In this explanation we shall refer to the two Record Blanks, M and H inserted in the text. The two forms of the scale will he spoken of as Form I and Form II.
Form lA on M indicates that the
pictures of the first form of the scale were ranked ac cording to the four scale values in each of the eight categories,
i.e., according to the first procedure just
The first part of the record blank serves for
recording the code words found on the back of the cards on which the cartoons were mounted. of the code words tells the category.
The initial letter For instance,
the initial letter M stands for Men; W, for Women; H, for Romance; Ch, for Children; C, for Cars; B, for Animals Sp, for Sports; and S, for Soldiers.
The medial vowels
point out the original scale values of the cartoons. That is £ is for scale value 1; £ is for scale value 2; £, for scale value 3; and £ for scale value 4.
The A, B,
-i C, and D under the code words show the particular arrange ment of each of the cartoons and the last column is the deviation score, both of which the experimenter filled out after the subjects had indicated all their choices. The deviation scores, however, were discarded because of unreliability. At the bottom of this same record blank, M, Form Jig discloses the fact that in the second form of the scale have been ranked the eight cartoons which represent each of the four scale values, or in other words, procedure described above.
The code words are different
so that one might tell at a glance one form of the scale from the other.
Here the initial letter D stands for
Ken; F, for Women; H, for Romance; J, for Children; K, for Cars; L, for Animals; H, for Sports and P, for Soldiers.
The medial vowels remain the same, however,
because in that way it is easy to check the proper order of the ranking.
The numerals under the code words in this
section of the blank show the arrangement of each of the different pictures. Record Blank, H, can be explained in the same way, except for the fact that the second form of the scale has been ranked by the first procedure and the first form of the scale has been ranked by the second.
letters and the medial vowels are the same as was mentioned for K, L
RECORD BLANKS- E BALE
Elizab eth Schupback________ SCHOOL__St. Frances of Rome MY A G E , CB MY LAST BIRTHDAY______13______________________ MY BI RTHDAY IS
J an . 21 CARDS
...X. A ..XI. ....W O D .... B .XXX. ___ R E D ____ D •. XV. ...; CH OD ... B ...v. c . .TI. ___ B E D . ... D .yxi. ___ SP ID .. . C Y1II. A
...HOD.- .... MID .. ....LED.. D B C .... WID. .. C D A .... BLCD.. .___ BID. . A C B ___ CHED. D C A .... COD... A D B . ...BID.. A B C ___ SPOD. D B A B
T O T A L __ ----0 20 42 4 15 10 43 0 134
_CARDS SETS 4 1 2 3 PU D . . P C D . .--. .X. .. LUD. ..•.B U D .... 4 2 6 7 .XX. ..POD..DOD......L C D .....POD.... 4 1 6 2 XXI. . .LID..BID.. .;. P I D ___ 3 8 6 2 .IV. . PED..LED..___ PED. ___ JED.. . 2 5 8 4
8 7 5 6 .H O D ....P U D ... DUD.. •PUD • 3 8 5 1 .BOD....HOD... .POD...POD. 8 7 3 5 .DID....MID... .J1D..•DID • 7 4 1 5 LED....LED... .DED..•BED. 3 7 6 1
RECORD BLAHK - M Patricia Cullman___________SCHOOL
M Y AGS, OK MY LAST BIRTHDAY W A S MY BIRTHDAY IS
1 St. .Frances of Rome
13_______ ___ _____________
October 14___________ GRADE
CARDS 4 -----3 . .DED . A B D C ..II . ...BUD. ..... B I D .. . .POD.. .....BED A B D C .Ill. . ... H D D . .....M O D .• , .¥ ? D , ,.... HID A D B C ..IV... •.xfp. ...... J U D .. .. JOD...... LED C A D B ...Y... ..MUD. ...... m i d .. ..M O D .. .... MED A C D B ..YX... ••L U P . ..L O D .. .... l e d A C B D . Y U . .. ..D U D . ..... MID . . H O D . . A C D B Y X I I ..• ..PSD.. .....PID A D C B SETS___
TOTAL 14 33 3 2G 4 2 2 1 79
. €??j M t) • •1
8 SETS 2 3 4 6 1 5 1 •.. I • •. .M U D .. .RUD...SPUD . . .SU D...CBUD.. •C U D .. ..W U D .• ..B U D ... 3 7 8 4 6 1 5 2 ..XX. .. .S O D * ..SPOD..COD. . . .BOD. ..WOD... .CHOP. ..MOD... •ROD •• 8 2 3 7 5 6 4 1 .III... .CHID ••CI D ... •RID... 3PID..BID•...SID. ..MID.•. 4 2 7 6 8 5 3 1 ..IV... BED. ..CHED...SED ...WED. ..CED... •M E D .. ..SEP.. ..SPED.. 6 2 7 4 8 3 5 1
n Finally, in order to facilitate the administration of the test, we procured a sufficient number of dupli cates of the original pictures to have twenty girls rank them at one time.
Form I^, eight sets of cartoons of
four each, could be ranked by five subjects while five others worked with Form eight each.
four sets of cartoons of
As soon as these two groups had finished
with the forms they had first they exchanged and those who had had Form 1^ now had Form IXg and those who had Form Il-g first now had Form 1^.
At the same time other
packs were so arranged that five individuals began with Form JI^ and five others with Form I-g.
packs in the same way as the first groups, so that in the end we had ten girls who had completed Form 1^ and Form lljj and ten who had finished Form 11^ and Form 1^. Of course all of this required definite instructions and strict supervision to see that the order was correct so that the record blanks could be easily scored.
girls, however, were quick to see how it was done once the directions were given and it was easy to have the entire procedure carried through within thirty or thirtyfive minutes.
Sub.i ec ts In order to standardize the scale of cartoons, we planned to have it ranked by at least one hundred sub jects from each of the seven grades included in the study* To be exact, we gave the test to seven hundred and thirtyeight girls who where enrolled in six grammar schools and six high schools in Hew York City.
Table IX gives the
names of the six high schools which took part in the experiment and the number of girls from each grade. Table
indicates the names of the six elementary
schools and the number of girls from each grade. TABLE IX HUMBER OH SUBJECTS BROM EACH OE TEE GRADES IB SIX HIGH SCHOOLS
SCHOOLS______________ ____ r IX
MT. ST. URSULA
ST. MICH AEL’S
OUR LADY OE LOURDES MT. ST. VIBCEHT’S TOTAL
ST. SIMOB STOCK 14
TABLE X HUMBER OE SUBJECTS FROM SACK OE THE SHADES IN SIX GRABBER SCHOOLS
SCHOOLS OUR LADY OE REFUGE
GRADES VIII 1.... 21 32
OUR LADY OE MERCY
ST. PHILIP HERI
S L FRANCES OF ROME
OUR LADY OF LOURDES 106
The seven hundred and thirty-eight subjects repre sented girls from the sixth grade through the fourth year in high school.
Table XI gives the number from each grade,
the number in each age group from eleven to eighteen years and the average age for each grade.
Since the average
age for each grade progresses one year at a time and since it corresponds very well with the age groups, we have, in analyzing the data, considered not the grade but only the eight age groups which appear in Table XI.
TABLE XI HUMBER OE SUBJECTS FOR EACH ACE AND GRABS AHD AVERAGE AGE IE YEARS FOR EACH GRADS
GRADS VI VII
AGE 10&11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18&19 42
1 56 52
XI XII TOTAL
8 48 35
1 15 50 34
5 45 45
44 57 L23 324 97 93 97
CHAPTSR VI ANALYSIS OF THE DATA Procedure A - Scale Ranking In analyzing the data, we shall consider first of all the Scale Ranking (S. R.).
As was said before, this
procedure consisted in the ranking of the cartoons which represented the four original scale positions in each of the eight categories.
the seven hundred and thirty-
eight girls used in this study had ranked either Form I or Form II, the mean rankings of the sixty-four pictures were computed.
Table XII gives these means of the dis
tributions and Figure II is the graphic representation of the same. Close inspection of Figure II reveals
the range, the
variability and the relative positions on the scale of each division in Form I ^ and Form 11^.
is a remarkable consistency in the ranking of pictures in every category, for with few exceptions the relative scale values found in the preliminary experiment are maintained in the main experiment.
of the Animal ratings is not the fault of the method. Rather, we would be more inclined to attribute the lack of success here to the fact that we had very few animal pictures from which to choose and consequently could not l
TABLE XII MEANS OE THE D IS T R IB U T IO N S QE TEE SCALE RANKING S BASED ON JUDGMENTS OE 7 3 8 SUBJECTS
EORM I I
E Q R M II
1 • 66
C H IL D R E N
3 . 59
A N IM A L S
S O L D IE R S
get as adequate placements of these animal pictures on the scale as we could for the other groups.
this agreement in 3. R.*s has persisted, we have taken it to mean that such pictures are discriminative and that their approximate scale positions have been correctly determined. All of this is very interesting and the most signif icant finding of this part of the experiment is, we believe,
that cartoons do lend
the scaling technique.
themselves very well to scale thus devised has a
high reliability may be inferred from the consistency of the scale rankings as well as from the value of the correlation coefficients presented at the end of this chapter• Procedure B - Classification Ranking Prom Procedure A, then, we obtained some knowledge of the measuring instrument itself.
The next step was to
discover, if possible, whether there was a differential response from age to age when the eight cartoons which represented the separate categories were ranked.
XIII gives the means of the distributions of the Class ification namcings (C. R.) for both forms of the scale based on the judgments of the seven hundred and thirtyeight girls included in this investigation.
and IY graphically describe this yearly variation in i_
average rankings for Porm I and Porm II.
In the previous section life pointed out the simil arity in the rankings for the scale positions of Porm I and Porm II.
According to this procedure A all four
pictures in each set were of the same category.
to procedure B, however, each of the eight pictures in the four quartiles of the scale represented a different category.
Hence, here the judgments of the subjects were
based on the comparison between classifications; whereas, in the Scale Ranking each subject expressed her opinion in regard to the humor she found in pictures within the same classification. An examination of Pigures III and IV will show the general trends for each of the eight categories for Porm I and Porm II.
It will be recalled that low scale
values indicate a high degree of humor, and that high scale values indicate a slight degree of humor.
yearly variation in responses to the humor in certain groups of cartoons may be summarily stated as follows: Por Porm I the responses to the humor found in the groups of cartoons present the tendencies given below: BEN - Regular increase with age up to year 14; irregular increase thereafter. WOMEN - Little change until 15, after which there is a rather marked increase to 18. ROMAHCB - Marked decrease with age up to 17 years.
69 t a b u
; x i ii
MEANS OB THE D IS T R IB U T IO N S
OB THE 0 L A 3 S IB IC A T IO N
RAN KING S BASED ON TEE JUDGMENTS OB 7 3 8
AGE YRS. 10 11
AGE 1 Y R S . MEANS 10 4.89 11
17. . 18
L _ 1 9 .._
17 18 19
! 3.96 r 1 2.46
I 2.87 1 3.38
17 18 19
1 4.72 1------
17 18 19
A N IM A L S
1..... .... f ............... ....
TABLE XIII (contrdJ
EOHM I .EORM H AGE YRS. ME AITS ME ANTS 10 4.53 5.97 11
EORM I .FORM II AGE YRS. MEANS 10 3.22 ROMANCE 11
17 18 19
1 I 1
17 18 19
17 18 19
i 17 18 19
M liK lllltis W lH
\ m :
CHILDREN - Very little change from year to year, CARS - Gradual and irregular increase until 17 years, ANIMALS - No appreciable change with age, SPORTS - Practically no change with age. SDLDXERS - A marked increase to 15; then a decided decrease to 3L6 with a tendency to become slightly funnier thereafter. Eor Norm II the responses to the humor found in the groups of cartoons present the following tendencies. MEN - No definite change from year to ye^r. WOMEN - Marked decrease from 13 on. ROMANCE - Conspicuous and rather steady increase to 17 years. CHILDREN - Gradual decrease from 12 to 16 years. CARS - Practically no change until 15, after which there is a noticeable decrease. ANIMALS - Gradual but irregular decrease with age. SPORTS - Regular increase to year 13 with little variation thereafter. SOLDIERS - Little change until 15, after which there is a rather marked increase until 18.
Comparison of the Rankings for High School and for Grades In order to probe further, for different age groups, the similarity or non-similarity of responses to the humor of cartoons, it was thought worthwhile to pool the rank ings for the high school classes and for the three elemen tary grades and compare these results*
Figure V shows
graphically this comparison for Form I-g and for Form IIb betw'een the median rankings of the high school subjects and those from the elementary grades.
It will be noticed
that the general trend is remarkably uniform for the two groups but the range for the grades is much greater than that for the high school.
These differences in range b e
tween the grades and the high school are generally signif icant as will be.seen from Table XIV which shows the C. R . *s for each category.
With the exception of the Hen group
for both Form I ana Form II, the Children group for Form I and Cars for Form II, the C. R.*s are all above 2.0. There is some indication here too that the Animal group of pictures is less preferred than all the others and this is true for both high school and the grades. was mentioned previously, however,
this divergence may be
only a function of the poor selection of the animal car toons.
IKAHS, DIFFERENCES MD
C. R.'S OF EIGHT CATEGORIES
Por Porm 1^ and for Porm II &9 we also plotted sepa rately the median values of those cartoons which repre* sented for the individual categories the four scale positions. Por Porm
These graphs appear in Pigures VT and 711* the rankings of scale positions 1 and 2
practically coincide for all the categories.
exception of the Animal group for scale position 3, there is a similar consistency for the other two positions as well.
Por Porm 21^, the consistency of the positions is
not so striking hut there is nevertheless a great deal of similarity.
The small differences that do occur are not
We did not include here the
Critical .Ratios since all of them were smaller than 2 and therefore were not important.
This extraordinary agree
ment in the scale rankings when the grades and the high school are separately examined, confirms we believe,
very high reliability of the scale of cartoons which we have constructed.
Whether this very same consistency
would exist if the test were given to a much younger group of children or to college girls is an entirely different question which we have not proposed to answer.
XL Sip^alZiSX 5jxixC===
:h s 5q
80 “i Age Variations for Individual Cartoons Besides following up the differential response from year to year for the average rankings of each category, we have Been interested also in the age variations for certain particular pictures.
On Figure VIII, are plotted
the median rankings of six typical cartoons which seem to offer some of the most interesting changes with age. Table XV:
indicates for these pictures the direction of
the changes at specified age levels and gives the critical ratios for these variations based on PEYs.
we would say that where the median scale values of partic ular cartoons increase or decrease 1.0 or more, then the age variations are fairly significant* The two procedures of the experiment presented here have each yielded definite and interesting results which we are justified in assuming are significant since the age variations have given critical ratios that are important. Reliability of the Two Forms In order to check on the reliability of both forms of the scale, we retested, after an interval of one month, one hundred and three girls from grades VT, VII, and VIII, fifty-two on Form I and fifty-one on Form II, and then computed the medians of the distributions obtained from the Scale Rankings (S. R . ) for Form IA and for Form II*.
AGE VARIATIONS AND CRITICAL RATIOS FOR PARTICULAR CARTOONS
4.9 - 3.6
12 - 15
1.8 - 2.5
15 - 17
2.9 - 2.5 . '
4.6 - 5.5
14 - 15
5.5 - 4.2
15 - 17
4.2 - 5.5
12 - 15
4.1 - 3.5
15 - 17
3.5 - 2.5
12 - 16
2.5 - 4.9
15 - 16 —
16 - 17
12 - 15
3.8 - 4.9
12 - 16
AGE RANGE YEARS
^rom the medians of these thirty-two pictures for the tw o forms, we calculated the test-retest correlation coefficients by the Method of Rank Differences.
This coefficient for
Procedure A in both instances was .97 with a PEr £.01. Form I-g and Form 11^, the Classification Rankings
we likewise determined the medians of the distributions. Again calculating rho*s for both forms and changing them into Pearson r ,s, we arrived at a correlation coefficient
r of .98 with a PEr -*GG7 for Procedure B for both forms of the scale.
These test-retest correlation coefficients ap?
pear below in Table XVI,
TABLE XVI CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS BETWEEN MEDIAN RANKINGS POR PORM I AND PORM II OP THE SCALE
FORK II - .A
1 1 1
TEST-RETEST FORM I - B
PEr *.0 0 7
FORM I - A
------ — ”r— TEST-RETEST ■
FORM II - B .98
*.0 0 7
Such high correlation coefficients as we have thus obtained indicate that our scale is unquestionably reliable, for both forms and for Procedure A and Procedure B.
fore, it can be used safely for the purpose of determining age variations.for different groups of cartoons and for particular cartoons within these groups, as we have done in this study*
Discussion Limitations of the Scale Just as there are innumerable situations whereby every trait of personality may be manifested, equally true of humor.
the same is
That this present study might
offer, for the investigation of this trait, fewer subjective elements than have been noticed in previous experiments, we have proposed to construct a scale as our measuring instrument for the humor in cartoons.
Yet, we are
conscious of the fact that this, too, is not a perfect device and hence recognize its limitations,
then, that our set-up or experimental procedure is only one of many by which it would be possible to get some measurement of the humor of different individuals.
we feel assured that the ranking of the cartoons used in this study has enabled us to arrive at some definite conclusions we fully realize that the responses we have obtained between grades and from year to year might be considerably unlike other responses which would be noticed if jokes, funny stories or other humorous situations were used as the stimuli. We wish to emphasize too that the scale is only a means of arriving at an end —
the differential or non-
L differential responses of the several age groups to
It is not an end in itself.
not claim for it the possibility of probing, from every angle, an i n div id ua ls
sense of humor.
Finally, we have not included both sexes but only girls; we have not attempted to use the test in all the grades nor for all the different age groups, but have limited our study to grades six to twelve which include girls from eleven years to eighteen years of age.
wanted the cartoons submitted by individuals within our particular age groups and we were more inclined to believe that girls of these ages would be more likely to collect the material independently.
Much more work,
been done with children younger
than our group, espec
ially from the point of view of laughter and smiling. We confined ourselves to girls because if boys were included also* the same procedure would have to be foll owed and that independently.
Hot only would this mean
twice the amount of time and work for the experimenter but, due to the enormous amount of material dealt with, the large numbers of subjects used, and the almost end less data to be handled,
the dissertation would become
too lengthy for its purpose.
We felt that we were per
fectly justified in thus restricting the scale since it was to be only a means to a further end.
"i Merits of the Scale
Though there are definite limitations to the scale, the instrument we have used to measure the response of girls to the humor of cartoons,
it has, nevertheless,
certain advantages which recommend it as a novel approach to the psychology of humor,
Dirst of all the sixty-four
pictures which constitute the two forms of the scale have been selected from cartoons submitted by girls within the age range of the subjects employed in our investiga tion.
Despite the fact that the choice of cartoons was,
to some extent, a function of the availability of maga zines,
the girls still had an opportunity of a certain
amount of selection.
The material, at any rate,
entirely independent of the personal opinion of the experimenter. The procedure, by whichwe have reduced over two thousand cartoons to sixty-four, is as objective a method as could be possibly chosen.
in each of the elimination processes expressed their opinion as to the funniness of the cartoons.
medians of the distributions of their choices we se lected those pictures which had discrete scale positions and which, as nearly as possible, could be evenly spaced on a scale*
In order to see how consistently these cartoons maintained their original scale positions,
the two forms
of the scale have been ranked by over seven hundred girl's from grades six to twelve and who are representative of the age groups we wished to study.
Saale Ranking (S. R . }, the second part of the experi ment provided for a separate ranking of the eight classi fications, the Classification Ranking
last named procedure, we proposed to find out if certain classes of pictures were rated differently by various age gro ups* Finally, besides the fact that our present study is more objective in its approach than any of the other investigations up to date, the numbers of subjects are larger than have been used in the great majority of the previous experiments*
The girls have been so selected,
too, as to be fairly representative of the general population; and hence the results present a possible approach to material that is more normative than any thing that has appeared so far in the literature* The two methods of analysis have shown distinct aspects in the ranking of cartoons, and have offered suggestive and encouraging results.
There are, however,
other aspects of humor and its responses which have not
88 “l been considered, especially the factors of intelligence, of nationality, of social influence, etc.
realize that all of these factors are important, yet it is more important to find out, at present anyway, just what there is about humor that is consistent and rather permanent and then from what is more or less stable it will be possible to learn more about what is variable and unstable.
We believe that the evidence, presented
in this present investigation, of the remarkable con sistency in the ranking of certain cartoons offers clues for further study of other and more vital aspects of humor
CHAPTER Till geksral
Su m m a r y
In this study an effort has been made to examine the responses of girls, betweenthe ages of eleven and eighteen years to the humor of cartoons.
Half the subjects ranked
first the cartoons of Form I according to scale position (S. R . ) and then those of Form II according to the eight classifications (C. R, ).
The other half of the subjects
reversed this order. The analysis of the data according to the Scale Ranking (S. R.) yielded the following results* 1.
For both forms of the scale, the four cartoons
chosen originally for the four scale positions in each of the eight categories, with the exception of the Animal group in Form I, consistently maintained their relative locations, 2.
Comparing the rankings of the elementary grades
with the high school, there is again a marked consistency maintained for all four scale positions.
is more noticeable in Form I but in Form II there is close agreement also. From the analysis of the data according to the Classification Ranking (C. R . ), the following trends were noticed*
There are indications that the categories have been
ranked differently at the several age levels.
In many instances
the definite change in opinion in regard to nearly all of the
groups of cartoons seems to be at year 15. 2.
the yearly change within the two forms were
considered the increase or decrease in the humor found in cartoons is not always the same for the same categories. 3.
When the rankings of the high school ana the grades
were compared, however,
the general trend in the Classifi
cation Ranking was relatively consistent. 4.
The range for the grades is much greater than that
for the high school and the aifferences in this range are significant. Prom these results it is clear that a scale of cartoons with high reliability has been constructed. evidence that are
There is some
the variations in responses from year to year
dependent upon the classifications of the pictures.
objectivity of analysis and the flexibility of ranking of the scale described offer a promising approach to the psy chophysical phenomenon that "ever moves our airy sense to 1 pleasant laughter."
3. 3. Cox, Why We La u g h . Hew York, Harpers and Bros., 1876, p. 1C4.
Directions for Collecting Material As has been mentioned, previously, material for this experiment was collected, from individuals enrolled in the six grade® under study.
Cooperation was secured from
the Sisters and the pupils of three elementary schools, Nazareth in South Boston, St. Philip Neri, and Our Lady of Refuge in the Bronx and of four high schools, Nazareth High in South Boston, Mount St. Ursula in the Bronx, Bacred Heart Academy in Hoboken, New Jersey, and Our Lady of Lourdes in Manhattan.
To these seven schools were
given the following directions for collecting the pictures and ear toons: Have the girls from grades six to eight inclusive (ninth to twelfth inclusive) collect from magazines at their disposal cartoons and pictures which they consider funny. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
The specific requirements are: Cartoons - black and white and bearing a caption. Pictures - black and white and bearing a caption. Size - about 3 by 4 inches or 4 by 5 inches. Send in all the pictures and cartoons which are submitted by the classes. Mark each pile according to the grade from which
it came• 6.
Try to get at least one hundred cartoons from each grade*
It was suggested that each individual who collected the pictures and cartoons should have at least
arrange these from one to ten according to the humor that j
was found, in them.
This last suggestion was not taken
into consideration after the collection, however,
many pictures had to he discarded because they did not meet the requirements* Xnstructions for the Firs_t and Second Elimination Processes Six hundred and forty cartoons (three hundred and twenty from Grades Y I , VII, VIII and three hundred and twenty from Grades IX, X, XI, XII) were finally selected from the two thousand pictures which were submitted*
was thought advisable, by the Method of Equal-Appearing Intervals,
to reduce the number to one hundred and sixty
(eighty from the grades and eighty from the high school). Erom these one hundred and sixty were chosen sixty-four pictures, by the same method as was used in the first elimination.
The directions given to both groups of
subjects were* Here is a group of pictures which I would like you to separate into five piles. The first pile on your right will contain those pictures which you think are very funny. In the fifth pile, the one on your left, will be those which you think are not funny at all or which may be just slightly funny. In the third pile, the one in the middle, you will put those which are fairly funny. They are not so good and yet they are not so bad either. The second pile, between the first and the third, will contain those pictures which are not so funny as those in the first pile but are funnier than those in the third. In the fourth pile, the one between the third and the fifth, you will put those pictures which
are not so funny as those in the third pile hut are funnier than those in the fifth. Try to have your piles as nearly even as possible; that is, put about the same number of pictures in each of the five piles. You must not count them but judge, by looking at the piles, if you think all of them have approximately the same number in them*
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Sister Agnes Lucile, Raley, S.C.N.
Date of Birth
July 3, 1907
Elementary School Graduated
Public School, Leonardtown, Md. 1920
Saint Mary's Academy, Leonardtown, Md. 1924
Baccalaureate Degree College Date
Boston College, Newton, Mass. 1936
Masters Degree College Date
M.A. Boston College, Newton, Mass. 1940