Tag Archive for Humor

What Makes Us Laugh?

Here are some quick, sometimes surprising clues. All Jokes Come Down to One of Four Themes Anywhere in the world, all jokes can be reduced to just one of these themes, according to professor Richard Wiseman, a British psychologist who, via his LaughLab, conducted mass-participation experiments about what we think is funny. (See * below) Also see what was voted as the funniest joke in the world in 2002. What’s the Funniest Animal? Wiseman also found that if you insert different animal names into the same joke, one animal evokes more laughter than any others. Guess which animal? (See **… Read More

The Kind of Humor That Enables Us to Live Well With Others

What should you do when things get tense in a group, and you’re tempted to make snide comments or worse? Why, turn to humor, of course. It can crack the fractious mood, drop the growing wall between us and even bring us closer. Yet only the right kind of humor can strengthen our connection over time. An MIT study found that people demonstrate humor in one of three ways: 1. Divisive: Humor that is insulting to or about others. Example: A music reviewer at the newspaper, Record Mirror, once wrote “Few people know that the CIA is planning to cripple… Read More

Why Do We Laugh?

Do they crack up laughing or squirm and turn away when you attempt humor? Want people to laugh with you? Dark humor, done right, may be key according to The Humor Code co-authors, Peter McGraw and Joel Warner who travelled the world in search of the answer. Can you suggest an unexpected, silly side of a familiar, embarrassing or even tragic situation? Then you’re evoking the “benign violation” theory of humor, the central premise in their book. They found that “humor arises when something seems wrong or threatening, but is simultaneously playful, safe or otherwise benign.” We are likely to… Read More

Evoke Humor To Befriend, Defuse Tension And Have Fun

Humor sometimes requires a target. If you make a bulls-eye out of someone weaker, particularly if you initiate the attack, you look like a bully. Take aim, instead, at the powerful. Or, rather than getting upset, consider yourself lucky when someone makes you a target first. Because, as Isaac Asimov observed, “For a humane person, the put-down is most satisfactory and most easily greeted with pleasurable laughter when the person being put down has done something to invite it – in other words, if he has attacked. Then it is lunge-and-riposte and at the riposte we can laugh with a clear conscience.” Defuse… Read More

Four Ways We Sway Others and Get Swayed

As the invisible gorilla test famously proved, we are sometimes blind to what’s happening around us, and oblivious to signs that sway us. To become more aware of how you are influenced by what you see and hear, and to get ideas on how to influence others, here are four nudges: 1. Give Them an Obvious Sign • When you see a path of big green footprints you are more likely to follow them to the public bins and throw your trash away. That’s what the Danish Nudging Network discovered. First they gave distinctively wrapped caramel candies to pedestrians in an area. Afterwards they searched nearby garbage cans, bicycle baskets and… Read More