Laughing As a Cure Mariam Akiki Sophomore English Rhetoric – ENL 213 section Q Presented to: Dr. Rosine Zgheib Notre Dame University- Louaize Laughing As a Cure “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter” (Cummings, 1940). Laughing is not an easy issue for everyone, however, the body doesn’t capture whether laughter is real or not. So even if laugh wasn’t real, it might have good effects. Laughter therapy is a cure adopted in almost every medicine, and it has guaranteed results. As cited in laughter therapy (2010), chuckling is a capable cure to stress.
However, a stranger tickling you is not considered funny because there is nothing benign about that situation. It elucidates why we find humor in puns which are violations of linguistic norms that pose no threat to us. Hence if something is offensive, it is solely a violation and makes the person who is offended feel threatened. An instance of this is when a comedian insults a member of the audience during a performance. The rest of the audience will laugh because while insulting the audience is a violation of presentational norms, they themselves are not being embarrassed as a result of this violation and therefore find it benign.
Another positive for freedom of speech for comedians is that the jokes made can lighten the mood of the subject. A comedians function in society is to challenge authority, and talk about subjects that may be unacceptable (Hartsell). Comedians are expected to go too far, but when they do, they are disapproved for it. Although, the audiences may only laugh at a joke because of how awkward it is going to be if no one did. “People like to mask their feelings due to not wanting others to really know how they feel—so people may laugh in times of nervousness because they are trying to balance their anxious feelings” (Kaminski).
Superiority theory is the oldest theoretical approach to humor. The theories which view humor as an expression of aggression have been termed as the superiority theories. These theories are also known as disparagement or aggression theories. According to Plato, laughter originates in malice i.e. one enjoys to see the other person suffering or in adversity.
Prejudice and the Scapegoat Theory Prejudice is preconceived opinion to an individual or a certain group which is can be both negative and positive, but mostly negative, that is not based on relevant facts. For example, when some group of people view negatively towards homosexuality and believe it’s a sin. This negative ‘belief’ that is called prejudice is not limited to a certain race or a country but everyone can have a prejudice on something or someone. Psychologists came out with several theories to explain the cause of prejudice but this paper will focus on the scapegoat theory that is commonly discussed as one of the causes of prejudice because scapegoating is a common practice that we are often unaware of but happens frequently in our society. It will talk about the development of the theory, definition and examples of the scapegoat theory.
It can often result from being in a crowd of laughing people and not even necessarily finding something funny. Some people laugh at things when others do not because of age, brain differences, and contagious laughter. Scientific studies have shown that children often laugh approximately 300 times per day, while “adults laugh less than twenty times a day” (Martin). So what role does age play in the causes of laughter? For a majority of people, they are born with the ability to laugh.
The idea of humor is usually based around certain people or thing creating a humorous thought that brings entertainment to the people. The author Alain de Botton, assumes that the role of humor in the world is to bring out repressed thoughts and messages that people can relate to. Alain de Botton's stance towards humor having an essential role in the function of society is true because humor does carelessly allow people to express their feeling freely and relate to messages that is given.
There are three main concepts that guide this research; relief theory, incongruity theory, and superiority theory. It is a combination of all three concepts that attempts to fully encapsulate the complex subject of racial comedy. Firstly, relief theory argues that the act of laughing helps individuals to “subconsciously overcome inhibitions”. It states that jokes and laughter can help to increase ease of interaction between different social groups, making previously uncomfortable situations abundantly more manageable. Next, incongruity theory places an emphasis on the element of surprise.
The cues mentioned by the parents were smiling, laughing, and the child looking up at them to gauge their reaction. Hoicka and Nameera (2012) found that children were more likely to laugh and look up at their parents as they were joking than they were to smiling as they watched for their parents’ reaction. However, both of these cues occurred more frequently than when children laughed or smiled without looking at their parents. The data supports the idea that laughter is a more common indicator of the production of humor when compared to smiling. It also suggests that people will systematically look to another person’s face to determine if their attempt at humor was successful or not.
Misconceptions are formed from stereotypes and are usually rumors with no truth behind it. Many stereotypes and misconceptions have been developed from many years back, along these lines, we’ve adapted to these stereotypes and misconceptions to name people by a specific title according to what