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Author Topic: what is, and why do we laugh?  (Read 4142 times)

paul.fr

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what is, and why do we laugh?
« on: 17/08/2007 07:45:35 »
Ryan's question prompted this. I am guessing that laughter is a physiological response, but why do we have that responce? Why do i find one thing funny when another person, just has that blank expression on their face?

Also. why is watching someone fall or slip on ice, one of the funniest things ever?


 

Offline eric l

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what is, and why do we laugh?
« Reply #1 on: 17/08/2007 16:33:03 »
Paul, you are asking after the nature of humor, and I think that is stuff for a monograph rather than a post in a forum.  So take this for what it is worth.
From what I learned about the subject, you laugh because something is out of place (in the sense that it should not happen like that) without being threatening. 
Someone slipping on ice (or over a banana peel) makes you laugh. It is out of place because that person should be just walking on.  If he stands up unhurt, you can laugh freely, but if he is obviously hurt, you probably won't laugh because you think that it might have happened to you as well, which makes it threatening.
"From what I learned" is not from any university college or school, just from observation (of commics and clowns and commical situations).  And if you are LOL now, then probably this answer is "out of place" rather than "close to truth".
Still, I would appreciate to see other comments on this.
 

paul.fr

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what is, and why do we laugh?
« Reply #2 on: 17/08/2007 16:51:10 »
Paul, you are asking after the nature of humor, and I think that is stuff for a monograph rather than a post in a forum. 

Eric, to some extent i agree. But i think it is more than that, "laughter is the best medecine" they say, but why?

What is it about laughter that makes us feel better, telling a funny joke can be an ice breaker at social functions, dating and such like.

We laugh when not supposed to due to being nervous, we will laugh at the boss's bad joke because not to do so could be career or promotion threatening.

You may also laugh when there is an apparent danger, but for a totally different reason to a funny situation.

There is (i think) a lot more to laughter and why we laugh than we think.
 

Offline Karen W.

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what is, and why do we laugh?
« Reply #3 on: 17/08/2007 18:36:43 »
I think laughter sets off certain endorphins  or chemicals in our brain that do cause pleasure and make us feel better. I am no expert, but I have been severely depressed and the more laughter the better, I say as it does help ease depression and makes you feel physically better! Which goes a long way. Especially when you are at the bottom of a very dark pit.. with no way out.

Give me something to laugh about cause I crave it! I think your body needs it to be healthy!
 

Offline eric l

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what is, and why do we laugh?
« Reply #4 on: 18/08/2007 12:20:19 »

Eric, to some extent i agree. But i think it is more than that, "laughter is the best medecine" they say, but why?

What is it about laughter that makes us feel better, telling a funny joke can be an ice breaker at social functions, dating and such like.

We laugh when not supposed to due to being nervous, we will laugh at the boss's bad joke because not to do so could be career or promotion threatening.

You may also laugh when there is an apparent danger, but for a totally different reason to a funny situation.

There is (i think) a lot more to laughter and why we laugh than we think.

That means you are asking for the purpose rather than for the cause of laughing.  You've got me there !
Why is it that only humans laugh - or smile ?  If an animal shows its teeth, it is to be read as a threat, but with humans it is a smile (well, most probably).
I'm just speculating, but maybe humans expect things (whether in hope or in fear) much more than animals do.  And this expectations cause tensions which laughter helps to relax.  Which in turn is why animals don't laugh, and don't have to laugh to stay healty. 
 

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what is, and why do we laugh?
« Reply #4 on: 18/08/2007 12:20:19 »

 

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