Why do people laugh?

Why do people laugh? (From the Economist) “Laughter is very contagious and this suggests that it may have become a part of human behaviour because it promotes social bonding. When a group of people laughs, the message seems to be ‘relax, you are among friends.'”

Update: Dave Winer says (and I agree): “Most laughs can be translated into this simple statement: Ain’t it the truth! When we laugh it’s because something is so true (for us) in such a deeply felt way that our body erupts. When we laugh together it’s because we share that feeling.”

3 thoughts on “Why do people laugh?

  1. I read once that laughter is “an interrupted defense mechanism” – at some point in our past, we decided to quit baring our fangs to attack someone or something and instead make a noise that dissipated the tension/anxiety they or it was provoking. Ha.

  2. Laughter can definitely be threatening. You can scare folks with the right kind of laugh. It’s like the fine line between crazy and brilliant.

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