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Cause and Effect: Serious Studies on Laughter

Uploaded by Jenlee on Jan 31, 2006

Why did the frog cross the road? Because he was glued to the chicken! (Du Dun Chh). Even though this joke isn’t very funny you still laughed. Laughter is caused by a great number of situations, from bonding with one another, to asserting dominance, to being a vocal filler. The effects of laughter can be very medicinal, and it’s often called the “Best Medicine.”

Laughter is very contagious. Even just listening to someone else laugh makes us laugh. For this reason, the once popular Tickle-Me-Elmo Doll, became a must have, Elmo’s laugh made us laugh. (A Big Mystery…). The contagiousness of laughter may stem from the fact that laughter has been one form of strong social bonding for millennia. When you laugh with people you become relaxed and comfortable around another. (Poking Fun).

Another reason people laugh besides social bonding is the Superiority Theory. This theory states that “people laugh to assert that they are on a level equal to or higher than those around them.” (Poking Fun). A proven example of this would be the fact that employees crack less jokes than their superiors. Another example of the Superiority Theory has to do with men and women. Studies have shown that men make more jokes around women, and women tend to laugh more around men. Also, men tend to laugh much louder around men, than they do around women. (Poking Fun)

Laughter can also take the place of a breath or pause while speaking, and there for doesn’t interrupt the structure of the sentence, becoming a vocal filler. When laughter becomes a vocal filler, it shows that laughter is subconscious. An example of this would be when you’re talking, and you’re not sure what to say next, so you say “um?” We don’t decide to laugh, it simply happens. This is why one cannot laugh on command. (A Big Mystery…).

Laughter is one of the best stress relievers. When you laugh it releases “happy” endorphins into your system. For this reason, and many others, laughter is often referred to as the “Best Medicine.” (Weed, 93) It is also thought that humor can strengthen your immune system, and control your pain tolerance. Laughter has also been shown to lower ones anxiety level, and possibly even increase...

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Uploaded by:   Jenlee

Date:   01/31/2006

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   3 pages (683 words)

Views:   2394

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