Theories of humour Many theories exist about what humour is and what social function it serves. The prevailing types of theories attempting to account for the existence of humour include psychological theories, the vast majority of which consider humour-induced behaviour to be very healthy; spiritual theories, which may, for instance, consider humour to be a "gift from God"; and theories which consider humour to be an unexplainable mystery, very much like a mystical experience.
The theory says 'humour only occurs when something seems wrong, unsettling, or threatening, but simultaneously seems okay, acceptable or safe'. Others believe that 'the appropriate use of humour can facilitate social interactions'. White once said, "Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind. This process of dissecting humour does not necessarily banish a sense of humour but begs attention towards its politics and assumed universality Khanduri However, both humour and comic are often used when theorising about the subject.
The connotations of humour as opposed to comic are said to be that of response versus stimulus. Additionally, humour was thought to include a combination of ridiculousness and wit in an individual; the paradigmatic case being Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff. The French were slow to adopt the term humour; in French, humeur and humour are still two different words, the former referring to a person's mood or to the archaic concept of the four humours.
Throughout history, comedy has been used as a form of entertainment all over the world, whether in the courts of the Western kings or the villages of the Far East. Both a social etiquette and a certain intelligence can be displayed through forms of wit and sarcasm. Eighteenth-century German author Georg Lichtenberg said that "the more you know humour, the more you become demanding in fineness. Later, in Greek philosophy, Aristotle , in the Poetics a, pp. Each rasa was associated with a specific bhavas portrayed on stage.
In Arabic and Persian culture[ edit ] Muhammad al-Baqir's Hadith about humour The terms comedy and satire became synonymous after Aristotle's Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world , where it was elaborated upon by Arabic writers and Islamic philosophers such as Abu Bischr , his pupil Al-Farabi , Persian Avicenna , and Averroes.
Due to cultural differences, they disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation, and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija satirical poetry. They viewed comedy as simply the "art of reprehension" and made no reference to light and cheerful events or troublesome beginnings and happy endings associated with classical Greek comedy. After the Latin translations of the 12th century , the term comedy thus gained a new semantic meaning in Medieval literature.
Even in the most solemn song, like Las Kean Fine ["Lost and Can Not Be Found"], which tells of a boiler explosion on a sugar plantation that killed several of the workers, their natural wit and humour shine though.
The Confucian "Analects" itself, however, depicts the Master as fond of humorous self-deprecation, once comparing his wanderings to the existence of a homeless dog.
Local performing arts, storytelling, vernacular fiction, and poetry offer a wide variety of humorous styles and sensibilities. Modern Chinese humor has been heavily influenced not only by indigenous traditions, but also by foreign humor, circulated via print culture, cinema, television, and the internet.
Self-deprecating humour has been found to increase the desirability of physically attractive others for committed relationships. Not all contemporary research, however, supports the previous assertion that humour is in fact a cause for healthier psychological wellbeing.
They did not consider the types of humour, or humour styles. For example, self-defeating or aggressive humour. The two types are adaptive versus maladaptive humour. Individuals with this dimension of humour tend to use jokes as a mean of affiliating relationships, amuse others, and reduce tensions.
People that fall under this dimension of humour tend to take a humorous perspective of life. Individuals with self-enhancing humour tend to use it as a mechanism to cope with stress.
Racist jokes, sarcasm and disparagement of individuals for the purpose of amusement. This type of humour is used by people who do not consider the consequences of their jokes, and mainly focus on the entertainment of the listeners. People with this style of humour tend to amuse others by using self-disparaging jokes, and also tend to laugh along with others when being taunted. It is hypothesised that people use this style of humour as a mean of social acceptance.
It is also mentioned that these people may have an implicit feeling of negativity. So they use this humour as a means of hiding that inner negative feeling. Additionally, adaptive humour styles may enable people to preserve their sense of wellbeing despite psychological problems. Therefore, humour may have detrimental effects on psychological wellbeing, only if that humour is of negative characteristics. It is regarded by many as an enjoyable and positive experience, so it would be reasonable to assume that it humour might have some positive physiological effects on the body.
A study designed to test the positive physiological effects of humour, the relationship between being exposed to humour and pain tolerance in particular, was conducted in by Karen Zwyer, Barbara Velker, and Willibald Ruch. To test the effects of humour on pain tolerance the test subjects were first exposed to a short humorous video clip and then exposed to the Cold Press Test. To identify the aspects of humour which might contribute to an increase in pain tolerance the study separated its fifty six female participants into three groups, cheerfulness, exhilaration and humour production.
The subjects were further separated into two groups, high Trait-Cheerfulness and high Trait-Seriousness according to the State-Trait-Cheerfulness-Inventory. The instructions for the three groups were as follows: To ensure that the participants actually found the movie humorous and that it produced the desired effects the participants took a survey on the topic which resulted in a mean score of 3.
The results of the Cold Press Test showed that the participants in all three groups experienced a higher pain threshold, a higher pain tolerance and a lower pain tolerance than previous to the film. The results did not show a significant difference between the three groups. SIgA is a type of antibody that protects the body from infections. In a method similar to the previous experiment, the participants were shown a short humorous video clip and then tested for the effects.
The participants showed a significant increase in SIgA levels. The cardiovascular benefits of laughter also seem to be just a figment of imagination as a study that was designed to test oxygen saturation levels produced by laughter, showed that even though laughter creates sporadic episodes of deep breathing, oxygen saturation levels are not affected.
The study subject were told that they would be given to an electric shock after a certain period of time. One group was exposed to humorous content, while the other was not. The anxiety levels were measured through self-report measures as well as the heart rate.
Subjects which rated high on sense of humour reported less anxiety in both groups, while subjects which rated lower on sense of humour reported less anxiety in the group which was exposed to the humorous material. However, there was not a significant difference in the heart rate between the subjects. Managers may use self-deprecating humour as a way to be perceived as more human and "real" by their employees.