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Author Topic: Laughter?  (Read 5183 times)

Offline ariel

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Laughter?
« on: 22/01/2006 21:34:19 »
Why do people laugh?  (Why did it evolve in humans?)
Why does tickling and humor trigger the same reaction(laughter)?
[:I]


 

Offline chris

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #1 on: 23/01/2006 08:36:57 »
mmm interesting questions. I'm going to have to have a careful think about these...

Chris

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ROBERT

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #2 on: 23/01/2006 10:31:46 »
http://www.wonderquest.com/Tickling.htm
""Darwin was the first to point out that a tickling victim squirms and strains to withdraw the tickled part, to get away from attacks on vulnerable areas such as the soles of the feet, armpits, belly and flank.
If a fly settles on a horse's belly, the horse ripples his skin muscles as a tickled child squirms. But he doesn't laugh.
Children don't always either. "The child will laugh only--and this is the crux of the matter--when it perceives tickling as a mock attack, a caress in mildly aggressive disguise," says the Encyclopedia Britannica.""
http://www.wonderquest.com/Tickling.htm

« Last Edit: 23/01/2006 10:33:19 by ROBERT »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #3 on: 23/01/2006 14:36:29 »
Slight divergence from the subject...

What I find interesting is the difference in humour in different cultures. There are some things that people from just about anywhere will laugh at (Schadenfreude is a classic example; almost universally, people find it amusing when others come unstuck). But, although globalisation is gradually breaking down the humour barriers, much humour is culture-specific.
When I lived in Germany many years ago, I went to quite a few cabaret clubs. There was always at least 1 comedian & the majority of the humour was toilet- or fart-based. I have to say that I didn't find it particularly funny, but the Germans were falling about laughing. I spoke pretty good German at the time so it wasn't that I was losing something in translation.
Even in Britain, there seems to be a difference in northern & southern humour. When I've been to clubs up north the comedians have mainly been the old-style gag-telling type, whereas in the south it's more social comment humour that's prevalent.
So, why do some people laugh at certain things whilst others are totally unmoved & vice versa?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #4 on: 23/01/2006 14:39:34 »
quote:
Originally posted by ariel

Why does tickling and humor trigger the same reaction(laughter)?
[:I]



Not always. If I walk up to a total stranger in the street & tell them a joke, they may laugh. If I tickled them I'd probably get a punch in the mouth [|)]
 

ROBERT

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #5 on: 23/01/2006 15:04:54 »
quote:
Originally posted by DoctorBeaver

Slight divergence from the subject...

almost universally, people find it amusing when others come unstuck.


Isn't laughter a reaction to the unusual / unacceptable,
baring ones teeth and panting, like a dog snarling / barking at a stranger ?, (i.e. a variant of aggression).
« Last Edit: 23/01/2006 15:05:44 by ROBERT »
 

Offline DocN

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #6 on: 24/01/2006 21:12:59 »
It is interesting that we do trend to laugh at the misfortunes of others, etc. and, if we are wise enough--to laugh at our own problems.    I've heard that some monkey groups show their teeth in a show of defiance to enemies--is it a smile?
Regards,
Doc
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #7 on: 25/01/2006 14:16:34 »
I think I'm right in saying that for most mammals, showing the teeth is a sign of aggression. Humans do it when they snarl.
 

Offline DocN

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #8 on: 25/01/2006 20:54:29 »
It is said that "it is funny if it bends and not so funny if it breaks".  I guess we would all laugh if someone slips on a banana peel and than gets up while we stop laughing if the person doesn't get up or is hurt.
Regards,
Doc
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #9 on: 25/01/2006 22:23:43 »
I'd heard it suggested that laughter was a response to broken tension - possibly a signal to others that there's no big deal here, nothing's gone badly wrong.
So for example, if someone slips on a banana skin you'd laugh when you'd decided they *were* going to get up.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #10 on: 26/01/2006 18:03:48 »
Rosy - what about "nervous laughter"?
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #11 on: 26/01/2006 19:16:16 »
No idea.
Overlaid on the above it's-all-OK laughter for use in social situations where you're trying to convince someone else there's no need to be tense? More than one type of laughter?

 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #12 on: 26/01/2006 20:00:00 »
quote:
More than one type of laughter?


Keep going... you're getting there
 

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Re: Laughter?
« Reply #12 on: 26/01/2006 20:00:00 »

 

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