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Laughter is a series of vowel-like
notes, repeated every one-fifth of a second, A2215 facial muscles.
People make a 'huh-huh-huh' noise rather than 'ho·ho·ho' or
'ha-ha-ha'. Young children laugh about 300 times a day, an
adult only 17.
Your laugh says a lot about
you. According to a study, cacklers rejoice in others' misfortunes,
howlers are attention-seekers, snorters are A23 to feelings of
superiority, sniggerers are immature and insensitive, belly-laughers
are trustworthy and friendly, and chucklers are kind but introspective.
Laughter really is contagious.
In January 1962, an outbreak of giggling at a Tanzanian girls'
school A24 to local villages
and 14 other schools, forcing several to close. The epidemic
finally ended two years later. It is believed that the brain
may be programmed to respond when it hears other people's
laughter. That's how canned laughter on TV comedy programmes
Most laughter has nothing
to A26 with humour. One
researcher examined what people said or heard before they
laughed and found it was usually things like 'Are you sure?'
or 'See you later'. We laugh at the end of a sentence as a
subconscious signal that we've finished speaking or, if someone
else is speaking, that we have understood.
Some experts believe that
laughter is an unconscious recognition of status - which is
why people laugh at their boss's terrible jokes. One study
in a hospital found that senior staff A27 average made 7.5
witty remarks per staff meeting, junior staff 5.5 and lowly
paramedics only 0.2. The study also found that women laugh
almost twice as much listening to a man as men do listening
to a woman.
Men and women laugh at different
things. During an online study, a researcher asked 100.000
people to A28 various jokes on
a scale of 1 to 10, according to how funny they found them.
Males preferred aggressive, nasty jokes. Women, who tend to
be more linguistically skilled than men, preferred wordplay.