Cause and Effect: Serious Studies on Laughter Essay

This essay has a total of 725 words and 4 pages.

Cause and Effect: Serious Studies on Laughter


Why did the frog cross the road? Because he was glued to the chicken! (Du Dun Chh).
Even though this joke isn’t very funny you still laughed. Laughter is caused by a great
number of situations, from bonding with one another, to asserting dominance, to being a
vocal filler. The effects of laughter can be very medicinal, and it’s often called the
“Best Medicine.”


Laughter is very contagious. Even just listening to someone else laugh makes us laugh.
For this reason, the once popular Tickle-Me-Elmo Doll, became a must have, Elmo’s laugh
made us laugh. (A Big Mystery…). The contagiousness of laughter may stem from the fact
that laughter has been one form of strong social bonding for millennia. When you laugh
with people you become relaxed and comfortable around another. (Poking Fun).


Another reason people laugh besides social bonding is the Superiority Theory. This theory
states that “people laugh to assert that they are on a level equal to or higher than those
around them.” (Poking Fun). A proven example of this would be the fact that employees
crack less jokes than their superiors. Another example of the Superiority Theory has to
do with men and women. Studies have shown that men make more jokes around women, and
women tend to laugh more around men. Also, men tend to laugh much louder around men, than
they do around women. (Poking Fun)


Laughter can also take the place of a breath or pause while speaking, and there for
doesn’t interrupt the structure of the sentence, becoming a vocal filler. When laughter
becomes a vocal filler, it shows that laughter is subconscious. An example of this would
be when you’re talking, and you’re not sure what to say next, so you say “um?” We don’t
decide to laugh, it simply happens. This is why one cannot laugh on command. (A Big
Mystery…).


Laughter is one of the best stress relievers. When you laugh it releases “happy”
endorphins into your system. For this reason, and many others, laughter is often referred
to as the “Best Medicine.” (Weed, 93) It is also thought that humor can strengthen your
immune system, and control your pain tolerance. Laughter has also been shown to lower
ones anxiety level, and possibly even increase healing rate. Another study has shown that
someone with a good sense of humor will have fewer colds than someone with an average or
poor sense of humor. (Study Looks At Effects…). In fact, one doctor, Dr. William Fry,
compared it to “inner jogging.” Dr. Fry states “Ten minutes of rowing is the same as
laughing 100 times a day.” (The Healthful Effects…). It has been proven that laughter
can increase blood circulation, increase heart rate, and works muscles all over the body.
It has also proven to protect the body against depression. (The Healthful Effects…).
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