Thursday, October 11, 2018

Evolutionary Explanations for Humor and Creativity. Or it is sexual selection?

Creativity and Humor. Chapter 10 - Evolutionary Explanations for Humor and Creativity. Aaron Kozbelt. Explorations in Creativity Research 2019, Pages 205-230.

Abstract: In this chapter, I explore evolutionary explanations for humor and creativity, via humor production—the ability to generate a verbal comment or behavior that other people find funny. Proposed evolutionary mechanisms for the origin of the human capacity for humor production include Darwinian natural selection and sexual selection. Natural selection explanations for humor are hampered by the difficulty of distinguishing genuine adaptations from evolutionary by-products, and by a problematic emphasis on group selection. A sexual selection view of humor as a trait-indicator of genetic fitness has been studied extensively and boasts impressive empirical support. Alternatives to the trait-indicator view, such as the use of humor to signal compatibility, interest, or warmth, have also been suggested. The wide range of interpersonal contexts in which humor production can play out suggests a pluralism of mechanisms underlying humor production ability—rich fodder for future research.

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