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PSYC 329 Psychology of Humor

This course begins with an exploration of theories about what makes people laugh and why. Students develop insight into their own sense of humor and how they use humor on a personal as well as an interpersonal level. It explores humor development across the life span, along with the importance of play in human life and examines the lives of several humorists from the perspective of the course content. The course also looks at how humor promotes physical, psychological and spiritual health, the relationship between humor and creativity, and the effective and appropriate use of humor in psychotherapy. Throughout the course, humor is viewed and understood as a source of personal power.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 1, 1998 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Learn about the mental processes involved in understanding humor.
  • Learn and understand theories and models of humor.
  • Learn about the development of humor in children.
  • Learn the role of humor in our interactions with other people.
  • Apply the knowledge from this course to their own experiences and the experiences of others.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.