טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentSagi Itay
SubjectThe Association between Amusing Titles and Article Citation
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Eldad Yechiam
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The main concern of the current study is to examine whether the use of humor in scientific articles’ titles is associated with the future number of citations an article receives. We asked judges to rank the degree of amusement and pleasantness of titles of articles published over 10 years (1985 to 1994) in two of the most prestigious and high ranking journals in behavioral science, Psychological Bulletin and Psychological Review. In addition, the monthly average number of citations was calculated for each article. We then examined whether there was an association between levels of titles' ranked amusement and pleasantness and the monthly citations average of the articles. The results show that while the titles’ pleasantness was weakly associated with the number of citations, articles with extremely high amusing titles (2 standard deviations above the mean) received fewer citations than articles with less amusing titles. Furthermore, it seems that extremely high amusement was associated with decreased variance in the number of citations. Furthermore, the negative association between an amusing title and subsequent citation of the article cannot be attributed to differences in the title's pleasantness or length, the number of authors of the article and their gender proportion, the article's type, differences between authors or the publication journal. The findings are discussed in the context of the importance of titles for signaling an article's content.