Laughter's Cognitive Power - Deepstash

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Laughing is good for your mind and your body – here's what the research shows

Laughter's Cognitive Power

It's an amazing thing what laughter can do because when we laugh, our brains are actually recognizing the absurdity of a situation. It allows us to take a look at another person's perspective and understand their intentions which can increase the intensity of the current situation.

Most of us have heard "learn to take a joke" once in our lives and to be able to "get" a joke, you need to see the lighter side of things and that other possibilities besides the literal exist.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

What Humor Is
What Humor Is

The three major approaches on what humor is and where it comes from:

  • The relief theory claims that laughter and humor are a way to discharge psychic energy.
Humor As A Life Skill
  • Reframing a negative event in an amusing light doesn't allow the negativity to trigger a depressive episode.
  • People who score highly in certain types of humor have better self-esteem, are more positive, have greater self-competency, more control over anxiety, and better performance in social situations.
  • Laughter can boost cardiovascular health and lower heart rates, blood pressure, and muscular tension.
Types Of Humor

Researchers described four types of humor:

  • Affiliative humor: this is the humor designed to enhance social bonds.
  • Self-enhancing humor: this is similar to having a humorous, playful view of life in general.
  • Aggressive humor: it happens when we are mocking others.
  • Self-defeating humor: this happens when we favor jokes that are self-deprecating.
Humour in philosophy
Humour in philosophy
  • Henri Bergson, a Fresh philosopher of the late 19th century, was also an author of a famous essay that focused on laughter. Before Bergson, few philosophers had given laughter much t...
Humour and respect

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.'

Conditions for laughter to thrive

Henri Bergson's general observations related to when laughter is most likely to appear and thrive:

  • The comic is strictly human. When laughter is directed at non-humans, we may laugh, but only because we have detected some human attitude or expression.
  • Laughter has no greater foe than emotion. Emotional states like pity, melancholy, rage, etc. make it difficult for us to find humour in the things we might otherwise have laughed at. But humour also appears to serve as a coping mechanism in the face of tragedy or misfortune.
  • Laughter seems to require an echo. It is used in the context of social bonding.
Humor during a crisis

For ancient Greek philosophers, humor was something that had the potential to undermine authority and the good order.

Today, in democratic societies, those in power are mocked and their p...

The power of laughter
  • Humor, in a way, protects us from life's grim reality. We joke because if we didn't, we'd cry.
  • Humor and laughing are also a social vocalization that includes some and excludes others. Jokes establish who is inside the group and who is not. We laugh with people to belong, and at others to exclude.
  • In our current crises, humor is everywhere because fear is too. Laughter binds us together against a common enemy.
When to joke

Poking fun at the ills of the world is only funny if they are considered benign. No one is making memes about child abuse that may increase during periods of enforced domestic isolation.

Observations about people's behavior can be funny if they poke fun at a social norm in a relatively inoffensive way, such as hoarding toilet paper.