Cognitive and Affective Science of Humor Lab (CASH Lab)

Welcome to the Cognitive and Affective Science of Humor Lab (CASH Lab)!

What makes us laugh and why? And what linguistic and paralinguistic features are involved in particularly funny stand-up comedy performances?

Our research group aims to answer questions like these by drawing upon the interdisciplinary tools from the cognitive and affective sciences, especially linguistics, psychology, and neuroscience. Available methodologies for research in the CASH Lab include discourse analysis, corpus and computational techniques, crowd-sourcing methods, and eye-tracking and pupillometry.

Our research group is currently focused on studying the linguistic features of top-rated stand-up comedy performances and drawing upon psychological theories of humor to explain the mechanisms involved in particularly funny jokes. Through an analysis of the linguistic techniques employed in some of the funniest comedic performances of all-time, as well as other projects investigating the psychology of humor, our research group aims to contribute to our scientific understanding of the function and value of humor in human life.

Current lab members include UC Merced cognitive science students Julie Chojnacki, Ayonna Jones, Karla Perez, and Jaqueline Torres.

The Principle Investigator of the CASH Lab is Adam Croom, Ph.D. Feel free to send him an email if you’re interested in getting involved in a research project investigating humor.