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Growing Older Changes What You Find Funny

Update Date: Oct 03, 2014 04:53 PM EDT

Comedic tastes change as people age, according to researchers.

Researchers from The University of Akron wanted to see how inappropriate social behavior affected young, middle-aged and older adults.

Lead researcher Jennifer Tehan Stanely found that older adults do not like shows like The Office, Mr. Bean or Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which characters make jokes at someone else's expense. However, young and middle-aged adults found this type of "aggressive humor" funny.

Older adults, on the hand, prefer to watch sitcoms with "affiliative humor," in which a number of characters share and navigate an awkward situation.

Researchers said the latest findings provide insight into the concept of humor. The next step is to understand our concept of what is funny is based on factors peculiar to generations or if it evolves and mellows as we age.

The findings are published in the journal Psychology and Aging.

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