Why do jokes make us laugh?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Q & A -

Laugh­ter plays an im­por­tant so­cial func­tion, sig­nalling to the joke-teller that we share their per­spec­tive on the world and that we recog­nise their witty in­tent. Some­times these guf­faws arise spon­ta­neously from gen­uine mirth, other times it’s more strate­gic: we in­gra­ti­ate our­selves with the joke-teller by let­ting them know we ap­pre­ci­ate their hu­mour. But ac­tu­ally most of our laugh­ter isn’t caused by jokes. We laugh much more of­ten when we’re the one do­ing the talk­ing, but again we’re us­ing this ‘vol­un­tary laugh­ter’ as a so­cial de­vice, con­vey­ing feel­ings of close­ness and play­ful­ness to the peo­ple we’re with. CJ

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