First of all, I have learned from my research that laughter is not the same as humor. Laughter is the physiological response to humor. In addition, laughter consists of two parts – a set of facial gestures and the production of a “ha-ha-ha” or a “ho-ho-ho” sound from our mouths. When we laugh, the brain pressures us to conduct both of these activities simultaneously. And, when we laugh heartily, changes can occur in many parts of our bodies including the arm, the leg, and trunk muscles.
Many researchers believe that the purpose of laughter is related to establishing and strengthening human connections. I am sure all of us have noticed that laughter creates attention and occurs when people are feeling comfortable with one another. Consequently, laughter creates a contagious reaction and the more laughter there is, the more bonding occurs within a group of people. A sort of human connection among strangers in a group situation results and forms what researchers call a “feedback loop” as the people within the group start to interact and a sense of freedom develops. We can use our classroom at The Women’s College as an example of the “feedback loop” model. Our instructor, Carol Zak-Dance serves as a stimulus while presenting her topic of discussion, next, a TWC student interprets her message as funny, then, another TWC student relates a funny experience, Carol acknowledges and responds to that student’s experience and contagious laughter follows, bonding among classmates occurs as a result, a sort of Comfort Zone develops, more bonding occurs; and, finally, everyone in the class participates and feels comfortable in becoming part of the group discussion.
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...ure out what makes you laugh and just do it! Watch funny movies and read the
• Surround yourself with funny people – be with them every chance you get!
• Develop your own sense of humor, become a comedian and by all means, laugh at
• Be funny every chance you get as long as it is not at someone else’s expense!
Gruner, Charles R. (1997). The game of humor – A comprehensive theory of why we laugh, Chapter 7 (Superiority Theory & Relief Theory). New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
Morreall, John (1983). Taking laughter seriously, Pages 61-65 (Incongruity Theory). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, Albany Press.
Piddington, Ralph (1963). The psychology of laughter, Chapters 1 & 2. New York: Gamut Press.
Tamblyn, Doni (2002). Laugh and learn, Pages 36-43. New York: AMACOM Books.
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