Exploring humour within the PhD experience: a first-hand reflection





humour research, PhD experience, higher education, cognitive dissonance


This opinion piece presents a reflective analysis that employs three theories in humour research, namely the benign violation theory, the theory of superiority and the ontic-epistemic theory of the comic, in order to delve into the doctoral experience. Using three vignettes, I elucidate the potential role of higher education faculty in facilitating transformative shifts in the perspectives of postgraduate students, enabling them to navigate cognitive dissonance and surmount obstacles in their academic development. This contribution holds practical value for both PhD students and faculty members, fostering opportunities for introspection and critical contemplation.


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