The Psychology of Laughter: A Study in Social Adaptation

The Psychology of Laughter: A Study in Social Adaptation

The Psychology of Laughter: A Study in Social Adaptation

The Psychology of Laughter: A Study in Social Adaptation

Excerpt

The problem of human laughter is one which has been approached from a number of different points of view by psychologists, sociologists, and littérateurs without producing any measure of agreement. Probably no human reaction has given rise to so many conflicting opinions as those found in works dealing with laughter. Thus Greig tells us that laughter essentially involves emotion, Bergson that all emotion must be absent; Hazlitt states that man is the only animal that laughs, while Darwin claims to have observed the reaction in apes; even the widely held view that laughter is an expression of pleasure has been attacked by M'Dougall, whose theory depends upon the opposite view. It would appear that the problem is still far from solution, the weakness of existing theories being their inadequacy to explain in full the phenomena of laughter. In view of this, there is need of a theory which, while harmonising with those existing theories which are of value, offers an explanation of those aspects of the phenomenon which have never been explained satisfactorily.

The treatment of laughter in the present work is neither entirely psychological nor . . .

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