Psychology quote of the day

i-e0b1b85fc8c1afc0e1decc95b28b7fdc-james_william3_med.jpg"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."

- William James, American psychologist and philosopher (1842 - 1910)

-via Neatorama-


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Great quote!

Too bad, though, that it's underlying premise has been proven to be incorrect. There is quite a large body of psychological literature on the subject of humor.

Most humor has nothing to do with common sense. If the stated premise were true, then all those Jewish, Polish, Mexican, gay, (on and on ad nauseam) jokes that denigrate 'others' would be written into our various public documents (declaration of independence, constitution, bill of rights) and enshrined on statues in D.C.

Sorry, slightly amusing, but entirely incorrect.


Go back and read the constitution and the bill of rights. The denigration of non-whites and females is everywhere. Perhaps it's time to read the James quote again?


You had me laughing at myself all afternoon! I surrender!

If I had thought about it a little longer I surely would have listed a different set of documents. I can only blame it on that subdural hematoma (the same one I have been blaming since that disastrous second grade math quiz!).

P.S.: I'm remain correct about the psychological literature on humor.

Excellent quote, I am going to have to disagree but not for the reasons stated above.

I believe the source of your debate stems from how you define humor. Racial and gender slurs are the very lowest form of humor, and not an adequate sample to test the theory.

True humor is the unexpected connection between seemingly unrelated topics. A top notch display of wit and humor involves connections and associations forming at great speed, and if done well, with grace.

It is a dance, but of uncommon sense, perceiving and illustrating the frequent illogic of the human mind.