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The following analysis was carried out in two parts. First, a quantitative measure was developed of the strength of the tendency toward conformity within social groups exposed to ambiguous situations. And second, two experiments were conducted in an attempt to reproduce empirically the confederating function of humor hypothesized in groups facing such situations. Exactly what is the effect of the opinions of others in the joking situation on our own? The results of these experiments are clear-cut. The effects upon individuals of majority opinions of humor have been investigated By means of a simple experimental design and analytical model we have produced and observed the ways in which norm formation and social conformity are engendered in the joke setting. Despite the “cautious” operational definition of the convergence concept, the basic finding of convergence nevertheless seems fairly absolute and pertinent to the individual's day-today social relations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1985-01-01

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