What Makes People Laugh?

July 13, 2018
What makes you laugh? Memes? Chandler Bing's sarcasm? Stand-up comedy shows? The disastrous dates of your best friend? Or worse, the most inappropriate social situations? Well, laughter, our most intimate and nonchalant reaction, actually is more than our collective guffaws or online LOL's gathered together. There is a science behind our laughter, believe it or not! Because how would you possibly explain the mass hysteria of 1962, in Tanganyika, if not for science?!

Robert R. Provine, a professor of Psychology in the University of Maryland, has made it his mission to study laughter, and what actually triggers it. He found out that people are usually more likely to laugh when with someone known to them, than with strangers. Well, this explains our silly bouts of laughter when with our friends. Provine actually dug deeper, and his studies involved eavesdropping in public places with his young research associates, where they used to listen to people's conversations, and how frequently they laughed.

Are you embarrassed about the fact that you cannot control your laughter when the situation demands? If you are looking for excuses to defend your awkward social skills, we have got one right here. It so happens that the subcortex region in the brain is where laughter originates. This region, again, was responsible for our primal behaviour back in those olden days, when our ancestors had no language to communicate. This explains why, even after our painstaking formal grooming sessions, at one point or the other in life we end up making a total fool of ourselves by laughing at the wrong time, and wrong place.

There is yet another angle to laughter. It involves social conditioning. Some jokes may not be funny to people from a different culture, as to others. "With Indians you just have to slap them around and shove your hand down their throat and yank the laughter out of their gut in the first two minutes of a show, and if you can manage to do that they're yours from there and they'll give you more than any audience in the world." This statement was made by Vir Das, one of the leading stand up comedians of India in an article, which separates the Indian audiences from the rest, but this is just one instance.

We react differently to different forms of humour, but we do react. Some of us take it to the next level, and make it to viral YouTube videos, but what's life without laughter, right?

Post Written by - Lopamudra

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.