Skip to comments.I Started a Joke
Posted on 07/05/2014 1:30:25 PM PDT by nickcarraway
UCSC humor study literally pulls legs and yanks chains to measure brains responses
The physical act of pulling someones leg can make you a funnier person. At least for a short period of time following the act, says Patrawat Samermit, a Ph.D student of cognitive psychology at UCSC. The same is true for yanking someones chain.
Samermit, who has ambitions to be the next Margaret Cho, is not pulling our leg (although shed clearly like to). Her recent humor cognition study used mannequins to find out how enacting embodied metaphors of humor may affect humor production. After the yanking and pulling, test subjects were given New Yorker cartoons and asked to write as many funny captions as they could think of.
Students who were primed to yank the chain and pull the leg actually had statistically significant higher funniness ratings than the control group, and they are trending toward significantly higher creativity ratings as well, says Samermit.
The study, now in its final stages, is modelled after a 2011 study published in Psychological Science which tested people on creativity after enacting several different embodied metaphorsincluding sitting outside of a box versus sitting inside a box (withyes this is maddening positive outside-the-box results).
Samermit is well aware of how crazy all of this probably sounds. But a term papers worth of complex humor theories (which we wont get into here) makes it sound pretty legit. And with a history in improv comedy, shes no stranger to all sorts of bizarre wit-increasing games and association exercisesalthough shes determined to make some breakthroughs in the area. So why should you care about being funnier? Well, lets start with the obvious reason: it may make you more attractive to othersnot that you need to be any hotter than you already are. Being humorous really requires you to be able to make novel associations, but the act of being humorous causes people to like you, because its creating a higher dopamine response in the basal gangliaits rewarding to be around you, says Samermit.
But lighting up the reward center of the brain is only one of laughters many bodily blessings which remain on-call from the age of three months until death. As it turns out, creating more laughter around you (and within you) is sort of like handing out free medicine to everyone you meet.
Studies show that people who laugh more last longer, says Samermit. And by studies, she doesnt mean some undergrads in a room tugging on mannequin legs (no offense). Several clinical studies on laughter and longevity support her claim, including a two-year 2006 study in Norway which found that cancer patients who maintained a sense of humor increased their odds of survival by 31 percent.
[People who laugh a lot] have lower blood pressure, which makes sense, lower anxiety, and their health doesnt decline quite as quickly, says Samermit.
Perhaps the most profound benefit of a good old LOL is that it lowers levels of cortisol and epinephrinethe stress and fight or flight hormones.
But humor and laughter are not one and the same, warns Samermitlaughter is a trait of humor, but its also a major social signal dating back to early man.
Chimps and gorillas have this funny form of laughter, a breathy sound, says Samermit, making the sound, much to the benefit of the pedestrians walking by. Pretend were chimps in Africa, and theres something rustling in really tall grass. It may be a snake, it may be a panther, but out pops a baby chimp, one of our children. And one of us lets out this laughter signal, and thats a signifier that everything is OK.
But seriously, there is nothing funny about Margaret Cho. Never has been. She is just a nasty offensive women.
Two deer go into a gay bar. Later they come out and one deer says to the other, “I can’t believe I blew 30 bucks in that joint.”
New Yorker cartoons?
All I got is “i enjoyed reading your emails.”
But I didn’t see, that the joke was on me. I haven’t a clue who Margaret Cho is. So I’ll take your word on her being a nasty offensive female. I reserve the term Woman or Women for the ones I like.
In reference to that most unusual song by the Bee Gees “I Started A Joke”, many speculated it was a loose interpretation of what Christ would have said had he allowed himself to think and speak like a normal human being vs the Son of God. Barry Gibbs has denied it, but any songwriter likes to keep people guessing and pondering your work. This was just a few years before Jesus Christ Superstar hit Broadway.
Recall how that so called other mystery about Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” went on for years, as to who she was speaking about. I liked the song, but I never really cared who inspired it. So what? Was my reaction back then.
“Samermit, who has ambitions to be the next Margaret Cho...”
There’s yer problem right there!
I don’t think Barry was referring to Christ in the song. And who cares what Carly was whining about. I’m 60 and never felt either song had a hidden message. Nor did any Beatles song reveal that Paul had died. But if you play play Ernie’s “Rubber Ducky” at half speed in reverse you will hear, “watch seasame street, the snuffleupagus is real and will rule the world”. But I think George Noory has debunked that in an interview with Alex Jones. :)
did tax dollars go to this??
Cho is most definitely not funny!
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