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 Why do we laugh?

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komalram
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PostSubject: Why do we laugh?   Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:11 pm

What makes us laugh at stuff? What makes things funny? I was reading a Calvin and Hobbes comic and Calvin said that people laugh at absurdity? Smiling and laughing at stuff could be a reaction to things we don't understand. Also, feel free to link to funny things pirat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZVwJfkM0Eg&playnext=1&videos=KWsSPLKZPLA
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Ira
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we laugh?   Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:59 am

I read somewhere that when we see or hear something that is entirely new to us, a reflex causes our brain to release a surge of dopamine, one of the chemicals that stimulates happiness in the human brain. I think that laughter is our reaction to situations that are unfamiliar to us, but that we aren't threatened by. This would explain why laughter is so closely associated with happiness; the new experience would trigger both laughter and a surge of dopamine. That might also be why it's generally easier to make younger people laugh. Since they haven't had as much experience as their elders, they find more in life which is new to them and that makes them laugh more. Plus there's "shock laughs", laughter caused by seeing or hearing something so graphic and offensive that it's funny. Naturally, this kind of humor is relatively easy to utilize and provides a wealth of content to comedians, and shows like South Park. Of course, vulgarity can only be funny as long as it's new.
http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/152581
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqq051BU2MY
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komalram
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we laugh?   Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:32 pm

What about people who are forgetful? They could hear a joke and laugh about it, then forget it and hear if again and laugh again.

hahaha, the grapist!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtGSXMuWMR4&playnext=1&videos=9Dr7SyHjV9g
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we laugh?   Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:07 am

How is your understanding about of why do we laugh
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komalram
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we laugh?   Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:43 pm

enghelee10 wrote:
How is your understanding about of why do we laugh

well, I like to think that we laugh because there's a way that things are "supposed to happen" in our minds, and when it doesn't, laughter is one of our options as how we respond. For example, in a lot of the three stooges comedy, even though we all tend to expect moe to smack curly on the side of the head, we know that's not appropriate behavior, so when he does it we still laugh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMnmyHVDRFY&list=SL
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meaganfaller



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PostSubject: Re: Why do we laugh?   Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:42 pm

I see laughter as this social norm that clues us in on certain things about a person. People's sense of humor tends to be varied, and there are different things that will make each of us smile, giggle, laugh, guffaw. When you see people laughing at or about different subjects, it shows us their apprecitation (or lack thereof) of the humorous things in live.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have crying, which is almost completely socially unnacceptable. We are told that men don't cry, "Big Girls Don't Cry" and bursting out in tears is definitely not as forgivalbe as bursting out in peals of laughter.

And why not? If laughter is an expression of joy, humor and good spirits, then crying the is profound expression of the sad, or sometimes the moving and beautiful. I think this distrubs me because I cry at the drop of a hat-- bad thoughts, rainy days, something beautiful with even a hint of melancholy. Aren't laughing and crying the same level of emotion for different emotional triggers, or is crying somehow more extreme than its counterpart?

I tend to think the former, because in these old Greek stories I have to read, war heroes cry openly without shame, and no one thinks less of them for it; possibly because they're more demonstrative with their emotions or possibly because we have some weird social stigma against tears.
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Magickirby

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PostSubject: Re: Why do we laugh?   Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:45 pm

Nothing says fun like laughing at something unfamiliar but not threatening. That sounds like a good theory and I suppose that is why people would laugh at this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw

Who would laugh at a gopher like that Razz

--To Komal, I just had a thought. How come reruns are not as funny as watching something new? I mean, yeah, there is the fact that the same material is being delivered in a different way, but people like to laugh at something new. If I were to tell the same joke repetitively, then everyone in the room would want my head on a pike by the end of the day. However, if I make the joke and then five hours later, someone else brings up the punchline again, then everyone would laugh their head off just as loud as the first time they heard it. Is the other person just funnier than I am? Is the same joke funny after a certain amount of time?

I suppose that dopamine could also be influential in this factor and that new stuff causes chemicals in the brain to trigger, but it just seems interesting: to make people laugh, you need something new and nonthreatening of the same joke you have heard one before.
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