Different attitudes toward humor between Chinese and American students : Evidence from the Implicit Association Test

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-107
Journal / PublicationPsychological Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


Although cross-cultural research indicates that Chinese people demonstrate less humor than do Americans, little research addresses the reasons. This cross-cultural difference may be largely due to different implicit attitudes toward humor held by Chinese and Americans, deeply rooted in the two cultural traditions. Both self-report evaluation and the Implicit Association Test (IAT) were used to compare Chinese and American attitudes toward humor. Although 60 Chinese undergraduate students showed no significant difference from 33 American exchange students in explicit attitudes toward humor, the former associated humor more frequently with unpleasant adjectives and seriousness with pleasant adjectives on the IAT; the opposite pattern was found for the American group. This indicated a negative implicit attitude toward humor among the Chinese students. © Psychological Reports 2011.