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Posts Tagged: laughter

The Anatomy of Funny

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McGraw’s studies have led him to endorse something called the benign-violation theory, which holds that “humor only occurs when something seems wrong, unsettling, or threatening (i.e., a violation), but simultaneously seems okay, acceptable, or safe (i.e., benign.)” The form this takes in most jokes and comic situations is to begin with the threat of a […]

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The Day Everyone Laughed

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Think Wilde, Wodehouse, Carroll, Cervantes—comedy has a thousand-year-old affair with literature. That said, what makes people laugh is as elusive and surprising as it is fascinating. Have you heard of the 1962 Tanganyika laughter epidemic? We’re here in East Africa on the trail of the so-called 1962 Tanganyika laughter epidemic. As the story goes, in […]

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