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Smith, Ken. "Laughing at the way we see: The role of visual organizing principles in cartoon humor." Humor. International Journal of Humor Research 9.(1996): 19–38. 
Added by: joachim (11/20/10, 3:11 PM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1515/humr.1996.9.1.19
BibTeX citation key: Smith1996
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Categories: General
Keywords: "The Far Side", Cartoon, Cognition, Humor, Larson. Gary, Randformen des Comics, USA
Creators: Smith
Collection: Humor. International Journal of Humor Research
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When humans process information, they show certain tendencies to group diverse visual elements together. Those tendencies to organize information into “wholes” are explained by gestalt psychology, and while they allow for an economy of effort in processing information, they can also contribute to humor in cartoons. This paper examines the role played by six gestalts induding similarity, proximity, continuation, closure, figure-ground, and common fate in cartoons. A seventh factor that was once considered a gestalt principle but has since lost universal acceptance, isomorphism, will be examined because it also plays a useful role in explaining visual relationships. Two roles are examined. The first involves the supplemental role visual organizing principles play as part of the cartoon code. The second involves the more central role they play in helping to create the humor. The focus of both analyses is The Far Side by Gary Larson. The Far Side uses gestalts as part of the cartoon code in a manner similar to many other cartoons. It also shows some interesting uses of visual organizing principles in helping to create humor; uses that can be and sometimes are applied by other cartoonists.
Added by: joachim  
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