Simple Science

LOL! Why Are We Laughing?

Girl on a lawnPhoto by Josef Seibel

Has it ever occurred that you tell a joke to someone and you notice that he did not laugh? And, in general, have you noticed that some people never, while the others are, on the contrary, constantly smiling or laughing.

Our laughter is not the expression of a mechanical process in our body, but an expression of our feelings: pure joy, cheerfulness, hilarity.

However, there is a “mechanical” caused laughter: titillation. But tickling is just a reflex of one part of the body and has nothing to do with the kind of laughter in which we enjoy.

When we laugh, we spontaneously express certain feelings that are caused by what we see, what we imagine, what we remember and what we think. Something must compel us to laugh. Why? This question really requires a response of psychologists – those who study human behavior. They have so far given various interpretations, but none of them fully.

Laughter is particularly evident in society. If you follow your own television program and watch something funny, you may not laugh out loud. But if you follow the program in the company, you will likelihood laugh out loud. Or take another example: if a group of people sitting, telling anecdotes and jokes and laughs, you probably will not laugh out loud, if you are outside of society, even if you have heard about what was happening.


We all generally know why we usually laugh: if someone is awkward, if something drops, slips or falls. In those cases and in that moment we feel superior. It creates pleasure and we express our feelings with laughter. Laughter depends on what is causing it. Laughter may even be contemptuous. Thus, laughter is an expression of our feelings and our kind of response to a phenomenon.

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