How humans develop a sense of humor
One of the skills that help children develop humor is knowing that people have access to different mental states and that some can have false beliefs or be deceived. When parents pretend not to see a child creeping up to scare them - this is an example of a child understanding deception.
Some research shows that this knowledge is essential for children to understand jokes involving sarcasm and irony. Children typically understand irony around five. Other researchers argue that joking develops through social interaction rather than knowledge of deception.
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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.
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:
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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.