Our research group, composed of an artist from Visual Arts as well as scientists from Psychology and Cognitive Science, will investigate the nature of humor and amusement. Drawing on both the contemporary experimental literature and classic theories of humor, we will devise experiments to examine new questions about the qualities that produce amusement and the effects of amusement on our subsequent percepts and behaviors. We will create original images, written pieces, etc. that will serve both as artworks in their own right and as stimuli for our experiments. Conversely, we aim to use the findings of our experiments to produce new works of art, informed by principles of the psychology of humor. In so doing, we aim to introduce a dialectical approach — of creating experimental stimuli from an art project and in turn creating works of art that draw upon research — as a new model for both science-based research and art practice.

Participating faculty and graduate students include

Seana Coulson (Cognitive Science)
Piotr Winkelmann (Psychology)
Vanessa Roveto (Visual Arts)
Emily Higgins (Psychology)
Evan Carr (Psychology)

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For more information, contact Emily Higgins at emilychiggins@gmail.com