Given the differences in male and female laugh patterns, is laughter a factor in meeting, matching and mating? I sought an answer in the human marketplace of newspaper personal ads. Clearly, women seek men who make them laugh, and men are eager to comply with this request.
When Karl Grammar and Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt studied spontaneous conversations between mixed- sex pairs of young German adults meeting for the first time, they noted that the more a woman laughed aloud during these encounters, the greater her self-reported interest in the man she was talking to. In the same vein, men were more interested in women who laughed heartily in their presence. The personal ads and the German study complement an observation from my field studies: The laughter of the female, not the male, is the critical index of a healthy relationship. Guys can laugh or not, but what matters is that women get their yuks in.
In many societies world wide -- ranging from the Tamil of Southern India to the Tzeltal of Mexico -- laughter is self-effacing behavior, and the women in my study may have used it as an unconscious vocal display of compliance or solidarity with a more socially dominant group member.
I suspect, however, that the gender patterns of laughter are fluid and shift subconsciously with social circumstance. For example, the workplace giggles of a young female executive will probably diminish as she ascends the corporate ladder, but she will remain a barrel of laughs when cavorting with old chums. Consider your own workplace. Have you ever encountered a strong leader with a giggle? Someone who laughs a lot, and unconditionally, may be a good team player, but they'll seldom be a president.
How to Stop Nervous Laughter (A Step-By-Step Guide)
As anyone who has ever laughed at the sight of someone doubled over can attest, laughter is contagious. Since our laughter is under minimal conscious control, it is spontaneous and relatively uncensored. Contagious laughter is a compelling display of Homo sapiens, a social mammal. It strips away our veneer of culture and challenges the hypothesis that we are in full control of our behavior.
From these synchronized vocal outbursts come insights into the neurological roots of human social behavior and speech. Consider the extraordinary outbreak of contagious laughter in a girls' boarding school in Tanzania. The first symptoms appeared on January 30, when three girls got the giggles and couldn't stop laughing.
The symptoms quickly spread to 95 students, forcing the school to close on March The girls sent home from the school were vectors for the further spread of the epidemic. Related outbreaks occurred in other schools in Central Africa and spread like wildfire, ceasing two-and-a-half years later and afflicting nearly 1, people. Before dismissing the African outbreak as an anomaly, consider our own technologically triggered mini-epidemics produced by television laugh tracks. Laugh tracks have accompanied most television sitcoms since September 9, At that evening, "The Hank McCune Show" used the first laugh track to compensate for being filmed without a live audience.
The rest is history. Canned laughter may sound artificial, but it makes TV viewers laugh as if they were part of a live theater audience. The irresistibility of others' laughter has its roots in the neurological mechanism of laugh detection. The fact that laughter is contagious raises the intriguing possibility that humans have an auditory laugh detector -- a neural circuit in the brain that responds exclusively to laughter.
Contagious yawning may involve a similar process in the visual domain. Once triggered, the laugh detector activates a laugh generator, a neural circuit that causes us in turn to produce laughter. Furthermore, laughter is not randomly scattered through speech. A speaker may say "You are going where?
This pattern requires that speech has priority over laughter. The occurrence of speaker laughter at the end of phrases suggests that a neurologically based process governs the placement of laughter in speech, and that different brain regions are involved in the expression of cognitively oriented speech and the more emotion-laden vocalization of laughter. During conversation, speech trumps -- that is, it inhibits -- laughter. Authorities from the Bible to Reader's Digest remind us that "laughter is the best medicine.
But left unsaid in such reports is a jarring truth: Laughter did not evolve to make us feel good or improve our health. Certainly, laughter unites people, and social support has been shown in studies to improve mental and physical health. Indeed, the presumed health benefits of laughter may be coincidental consequences of its primary goal: bringing people together. Laughter is an energetic activity that raises our heart rate and blood pressure, but these physiological effects are incompletely documented and their medicinal benefits are even less certain. Lennart Levi, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, reported that comedy activates the body's "fight or flight" system, increasing catecholamine levels in urine, a measure of activation and stress.
Lee Berk, DHSc, of the Loma Linda School of Medicine, countered with a widely cited study that reported that laughter reduced catecholamines and other hormonal measures of sympathetic activation. This reduction in stress and associated hormones is the mechanism through which laughter is presumed to enhance immune function. Unfortunately, Berk's studies show at best a biological response to comedy. His reports included only five experimental subjects, never stated whether those subjects actually laughed, and were presented in only three brief abstracts.
Does a sense of humor or a lighthearted personality add years to your life? Not necessarily. A large-scale study by Howard Friedman, Ph. This may be because people with untempered optimism indulge in risk-taking , thinking, "I'll be okay. Pain reduction is one of laughter's promising applications. Rosemary Cogan, Ph. Humor may help temper intense pain.
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James Rotton, Ph. Humor may also help us cope with stress. In a study by Michelle Newman, Ph. Those who used the humorous tone had the lowest negative affect and tension. A problem with these studies is that none of them separate the effects of laughter from those of humor.
how to laugh naturally on cue Manual
I am no actor but I was able to make myself laugh until my eyes were watering by concentrating on the physical aspects of laughing. It starts with your diaphragm bouncing around and once you get going you are laughing at nothing. I will ber back with more information later. This is interesting. Hail Ants.
Learn to Smile More for Health, Happiness, and Longevity
As the old acting saying goes, death is easy, comedy is hard. I took a speech class in college and the teacher had done a lot of acting, directing etc. No problem. I can turn on the waterworks like a switch. But laughing, sometimes it's impossible".
The reason is that laughing is less like crying and more like sneezing. It truely is a basal, immediate, almost reflexive human reaction. Try and do a convincing fake sneeze. Its impossible. Faking a laugh is almost as hard. All times are GMT The time now is PM. About Us "Nam ad partem tibique suscipit, ut duis etiam integre usu.
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Straight Dope Message Board Join us now! Mark Forums Read. Thread Tools. Lobsang Member. SlyFrog Guest. Join Date: Mar Posts: 1, Quote: Originally Posted by Lobsang I always wonder how an actor can laugh on cue, and make it look convincing? Find all posts by SlyFrog. Sir Prize Guest.
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