Why does sense of humour change over time?


Humour relies on the psychological idea of the bengin violation: Situations that are mostly wrong but still a little bit right. If something is too banal, it won’t be funny. Go too far, though, and you’ve just offended the person. Michael Scott’s offensive quips can apparently be a little too much for older viewers.

So why don’t older people find the aggressive style of humour funny? One explanation might be that the jokes in sitcoms have changed over time, and today’s older people are just accustomed to a gentler kind of wit. People also might have a greater emotional connection to a show from their own generation—Golden Girls is a much earlier show than either The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm.


Khazan (2014) Sense of Humour Changes With Age. URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/our-sense-of-humor-changes-as-we-age/380954/


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