I thought that laughter happened because of something that I found funny. But an article in New Scientist (Jul 17/10) by Kate Douglas says that that assumption is just plain not funny. More people laugh at boring comments or use it as a filler for a convo than anything else. And according to Robert Provine of the University of Maryland, you’re more likely to share in a giggle when you’re the one telling the joke than listening to the joke. I guess all those times when I crack up in laughter while others are left scratching their heads is scientifically proven as normal. And another point goes to science. In fact, laughter is serious, there’s nothing “happy go lucky” about it. It can influence other people’s behaviour!! No kidding! This little tidbit of world domination info is brought to us by Micheal Owren, a psychologist with the GSU in Atlanta. Laughter can exclude people from the group and can also be used as a weapon of intimidation. Who knew?
I suppose that I can believe this assertion that laughter can influence people. Look at all those people who are involved in Laughter Yoga. “A life changing experience” that is now an International organization influencing people into healthier, stretchier lifestyles. And what about the Joker in the Dark Knight. His crazy, psychotic laugh made my heart pound in something closely resembling the feeling of fear that Freddy Krueger inspires… you know the kind where you want to hide your face behind the pillow (because the pillow WILL protect you with it’s supernatural force field of happy thoughts!). And laughter is the glue that binds us together. You don’t consider a stranger to be a friend… until you share a laugh and then all of a sudden your best buddies. Happens all the time, especially while people are in school. I call this the “Oh, you’re not a crazy person because you share my humour. I think I’ll share notes with you now” phenomenon.
So next time that you’re sharing a laugh with someone, remember that laughter is nothing to laugh at.