How humans develop a sense of humor
Children first need to possess a few basic cognitive skills to communicate jokes, such as imagination, the ability to take a different perspective, and language.
These abilities tend to develop at different rates in children and continue to grow and change throughout adolescence and adulthood.
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Everyone who ever had to explain their own joke knows that comedy cannot survive analysis. Once you take humour apart, it loses its effect and dies in the process.
Henri Bergson published his essay on laughter in 1900. He believed that laughter should be studied as 'a living thing' and treated with 'the respect due to life.'
Henri Bergson's general observations related to when laughter is most likely to appear and thrive:
You say something you don't literally mean, and the hearer only understands if they get that you're insincere. The ability to recognize sarcasm is an essential skill to function in a modern society that thrives on irony.
Entire phrases have lost their literal meaning because they are so frequently used with a sneer. For example, "big deal", or "tell it to someone who cares," and "aren't you special" means you aren't.
Studies revealed that exposure to sarcasm enhances problem-solving. It appears to stimulate complex thinking.
Sarcasm also requires the brain to work harder, making it sharper. To perceive sarcasm, a person has to see beyond the literal meaning of the words and understand that the speaker may be thinking of something entirely different.
Sarcasm has a two-faced quality: it's funny and mean.
Some language experts suggest sarcasm is a gentler way to criticize with indirectness. "How do you keep this room so neat?" Other researchers have found the mocking nature of sarcasm as more hurtful than plain-spoken criticism.
Being funny can have both positive and negative consequences, in your personal as well as your professional life. And context is always important: when making a joke, for instance, you should definitely make sure the moment is appropriate for such a behavior.
Making the good jokes at the proper moment can help you become everybody's favorite at the workplace. However, making a bad joke can lead even to being fired: so make sure to choose your attitude appropriately.
Humor and status have always been tightly linked: good leaders seem to often use humor in order to motivate their team members' actions. As individuals, we tend to prefer, researchers claim, jokes that make us laugh while feeling slightly uncomfortable.
Furthermore, we perceive the joke teller as a self-confident person, who could easily become a leader due to his or her courage to make such a joke. The key point here is that the joke should be appropriate and match the context.
Making inside jokes usually shows how bounded a team or a group is: their jokes can understood the best by themselves.
However, the moment an outsider integrates the group, it is better to avoid the inside jokes, as this will most probably make him or her feel out of place.