So I was reading this article on the top 10 mysteries of the mind, and one of them was about the purpose of laughter. Nobody really knows what it is.
And when you think about it, laughter is pretty strange. Someone says something “funny”, and in response, your lips curl up and you start grunting. Why?
Some researchers guess that laughing signals to other people that you meant something “in fun”, but this seems kinda circular. People would only do something “in fun” if it was funny, and then that just gets us back to asking what funny means. Others think that laughter is a playful response to things that don’t make sense. Ok, sure, but what’s the point of going into a fit every time something doesn’t make sense? Since I’m in personality psychology, I’d also point out that there are huge individual differences in laughter. Some people laugh at South Park, while others think Hope & Faith is hilarious (note: I’ve never watched it. Maybe it is.)
My guess is that, like most things, laughter is complicated. It serves multiple purposes depending on the situation, and depending on who’s doing the laughing.
Hah! Laughter. It makes me laugh. LOLX0rS.