tv Sophie Co. Visionaries RT December 20, 2019 3:30pm-4:01pm EST
everywhere and they seem to be usurping their core in very similar way so cultures can still be very different in how they use laughter but at their core you'll find it has this very important role in social interactions and and of course we're not the only animals that love so these same basic emotions including laughter emotions that we find versions of in other mammals we'll talk about that in a bit later but before that in a tad talk you would have pointed out the lack of laughter recognition among boys with traits does that mean that people who never laugh are somewhat mentally disturbed more or less. no i think it's probably not that simple so i think there's an interesting distinction to draw between. learning to love and learning to love with other people and the things that could affect you in that so all of us all of us will have sort of been able to laugh when we were by a vis but so it's
a behavior that appears even in deaf and blind babies even if you've never heard of seen laughter you will laugh if you're tickled by a parents. and then we learn how to use us in a more complex way and one of the things that we learn is to have to join in with laughter contagiously to laugh when somebody else laughs even if you don't know why they're laughing now that was what seemed to be destructed in the boys with risk of psych psychopathy so the boys would conduct disorders and the boys who have the high in callous and unemotional traits they behaved badly and they don't care if they hurt you and that of course we don't know what the the cause is that we don't know if. they have had different experiences that mean they have never learnt to love contagiously. we also don't know if there's something different about those boys that mean even if there were those opportunities they did not laugh they didn't learn how to do that something is stopping them from learning so obviously we need to know more about this have and also i know that you've used other people's laughter to illustrate a point in one of your lectures and i mean i couldn't help but notice how strange
the different people's laughter is can get from you know your regular ha ha to just really weird noises i mean hilariously weird what do this differences depend on and why do i laugh in the way that i do i think the 1st on says that this is actually quite complicated i think the 1st answer is that it can just be to do with your physiology and your anatomy because when you laugh in a really helpless way if you laugh in a way that's absolutely young controlled you are not really shaping the sound you make that just kind of being produced by your body and in a bit like a sneeze and it makes noises when you sneeze that you wouldn't want to make the same can happen when you're laughing and so just individual idiosyncrasies of of how your articulate is work you know i mean you have one kind of love for another so i think that some of the some not all of what's going on that means that left the company very strange and very variable across people i think there's also quite
good evidence of the possibility that when you love communicative lay that's actually something that is more under your control but like the speech that you're using and like the speech that you're using that can be influenced socially so i think one of the other means reasons that we can love differently is that we we learn to use laugh in certain communicative settings and actually that means it can be shaped like the rest of our communication sounds can be so there's more possibility i think to say the cultural variation the human sort of like practice laughter and use that as a tool like oh oh. well i think so yes some of the sound it wasn't really bad when you put it like that but actually most of the laughs you encounter isn't people laughing up to the helplessly it's people laughing for social you know communicative purposes but actually most of the time that the intent is good and the intent is to show someone that you you know you you know choosing you seeking to have the appearance of someone who is you know using this joyful vocalization so
i think one of the things is one of these inmates love to quite complicated is a lot of laughter is very communicative and actually a lot of that laughter has got really much to do with jokes and comedy it's being used to show that you agree with someone you understand someone your pub the same group as someone you like someone or some other kind of stuff that we doing we have a conversation with with people we can kind of use love to sit and yeah so can you . person's laughter tell what kind of person she or he is in terms of psychic type for instance i've been told many times to have a either hysterical laughter or a contagious laughter oh i don't know that i'm hysterical in real life or maybe i am and laughter really gives it away. i think probably the what people mean when they say that often is that you have a love that they like and they want to laugh along when they hear it. so people i mean some laughter is more contagious than others and some people do love more easily than of the sort of works quite a lot with a chap from the us who's quite famous in the us for having
a very very contagious laugh he does this kind of. funny laugh and it's a really beautiful laugh but also he laughs really easily he's a very kind of easygoing gentleman and he has a sort of joyful love this seems to reflect that personality so i think you probably can't read everybody's personality by how they love but i think sometimes when you do encounter a lot of the same succumb it's true joyful way without it doesn't like someone's faking it so pushing it so that it's been really you know a stimulus easily without being forced to then maybe there is something you know kind of nice about what's going on there so laughter in general is easier to catch from someone you trust or that you like how come we still laugh with strangers i mean i've seen this video from berlin subway our whole car just breaks out into uncontrollable laughter session basically and it stares was just one girl cracking up or something on ourselves.
just the nominal but obviously nobody on that train knew each other and there were just laughing nonstop all them i i could keep suspicions about these videos of people laughing i'm trying to because why would someone filming in the 1st place you know i think that's the something else is more stage than we'd like it to be so i think that being said we do love quite a lot with strength just because we're adults will do. is usually even very transients interactions with people sort of smooth over lumps and bumps to to make an interaction go more smoothly and it's a very socially acceptable way of doing that so i remember once being on a train and a woman and 2 men came assess another side of a woman who kind of got 4 seats all to herself and what she said was i'm going to
move because i don't like the smell of coffee and you've got coffee which is just offensive isn't it i'm going to move because you guys are sat next to me and you smell and what she did was she really cleverly and probably even without thinking about it to go i'm sorry this is me i'm being an idiot but i'm a funny one coffee so very sorry about the last story about that and she laughed a lot and the men laughed a lot and what could have been just a very awkward interaction was immediately you know it was fine it was absolutely fun and i don't think anybody would necessarily realize how much said or used to make that go that's measly and they never met before they'll have meet again you know so they can have this incredible transience appearance because we use it for the social community purposes and sometimes i think not always but sometimes a lot of what we mean by social skills kind of can incorporate doesn't have to it can incorporate using laughter that way to just sneak things over to just make things go slightly more comfortably so does the fact that you are more likely to
live with others explain all the really irritating canned laughter in sitcoms like even if it isn't funny can't hear the laughing sound and just uncontrollably join in i think that's almost certainly what's going on so we ran a study earlier this year where we just added love to the end of jokes in the jokes are terrible jokes were deliberately quite bad jokes and they were read by a comedian who really went for a season or what's our engine sounds like a carrot a parrot and it's the wrong way round was oranges sounds like a parrot a carrot sorry that's all that really bad. and what we found is you could write how funny those jokes were and people did no finding very funny and then we just added laughter into. and i want people to write jokes again and different people and they couldn't ignore the left us if you added any laughter into a joke it made the joke seem funny and the most fun tiniest the laughter the funnier it made the joke so it's what you call ignore left it's kind of sticky and it's making the joke sound well at least someone somewhere thought it was funny and
it influences what you saying. is this is a stick. in the stomach of the fish the brand is part of the coca-cola company which sells millions of bottles of soda every day the idea was that let's tell consumers they're the bad ones they're the litter bugs are throwing us away industry should be blamed for all the company has promised to reuse the plastic.
on. the mountains of only grow. well it finally happened donald trump has been impeached by the house of representatives in complete opposition to what the founders envisioned the articles . were along party lines it is highly unlikely the senate will vote to remove the president from office so what is the point of this entire exercise. been a troubled 19 seventies
a group of killers rampage through parts of northern ireland that was coordinated loyalist attacks protect the population. are forced to flee their homes. these attacks was a p.r. you see the police actually took part in the attacks so instead of preventing it they were active participants in the burning of full streets in belfast at the time more than a 100 innocent civilians were. as the review can seniors and we found out more i was surprised about the extent to which the inclusion was involved in some of those cases that killers would later be named. i think it went to the very very top i think it is. the water where. you. give the go ahead.
and we're back with saw face got near a scientists professor of cognitive psychology and stand up comic discussing laughter humor and why they're important for human interactions and for human beings right so you're also saying that couples whole laugh together tend to last longer and have a healthy relationship i mean i agree with that the 1st thing i look in a partner is sense of humor. do you think it's because of the primal strengths of laughter as a communication tool or just because people with a sense of humor like others will sense of humor. i think it's because the love is a sign of the strength of that relationship because the really interesting thing about this literature is rowe is what about robert levinson in the u.s. and what he does is he puts couples married couples in stressful situations and you
see physiologically people get stressed out by this and what he finds is the couples who do with it with laughter exactly like you say they get less stressed immediately and they are happier in their relationship in the stay together flowing a bit critically it only works if they both love and i think the very interesting thing there is it's a sign that if your relationship is strong enough and intimate enough that you can if you want to actually use love to see gether to feel better together that is telling you something about the relationship and he 1st find that the opposite is true so it will member of the couple doesn't join in with the other one laughs that's a really bad sign and it's not necessarily anything to do with humor it's more that if they wanted to they would join in but they don't want to and that's actually telling you something about what the relationship is going. well is there also any truth to the folk legend that laughter prolongs your life is it good for you
biologically. i don't know. things about love this is really enjoyable it is a treasured thing when you're with some. he really makes you laugh exactly like you say you know it can be delightful thing to be in that person's company and if feels wonderful and you do feel better when you've been enough and you feel more relaxed you feel less stressed and you feel you know you get a nice kind of endorphin high from laughing now does that translate into being healthier we don't know we do know that the opposite is true so you can go about robert levinson's because couples who are having stressful interactions the couples who deal with or the people who deal with stress by kind of just ignoring it or by using aggression they are more likely to have health problems so people who have it get angry for example or more likely to have hope problems so you know you can sort of say the opposite is true not using laughter isn't particularly good for you so
that's positive evidence for love or negative evidence for. so laughter it can be impossible to control and incapacitating in a way why does that happen to us i mean do it just sort of let our evolutionary guard down where we laugh because it makes us feel safe and that allows laughter to get us literally rolling on the floor it's a very good question and i don't ever give you a completely good answer to it so i think one aspect of that is true we won't laugh randomly we do tend to love more when we feel safe when we feel secure so if you're building a place where you want people to laugh at a comedy club or have a low ceiling and low lying team you squash all the seats and together several is kind of squashed in together and that makes audiences laugh more they laugh less of the brightly lit a little less that there's a high ceiling less said than who spread out so feeling safe to seem to lead you to love more. and you do get this tremendous weakness as i said he would love to i
don't know there isn't enough science on this so i'd really like to know more about this we do know that as soon as you start laughing you get the suppression of push your reflexes so the sorts of things that keep you standing up just standing up will keep you in the chair if you're sitting down those get suppressed very quickly when you start laughing see do you get floppy you try and do something with your hands when you're laughing it's really hard now we don't know why that happens we don't know the how other animals are it's just us i think it's one of the things that's quite nice about laughter is a slightly helpless feeling in these you say in evolutionary terms it's very hard to understand how that could come about because when you really that we could helpless target came and you'd be able to run away very quickly for example so it is quite interesting it's an interesting you know kind of possibility that maybe the advantages of loafing not that outweigh the dangers so well after physically is a series of flunk contractions right that squeezed the air out of the lungs is it
yeah it's lot of fun yeah but it also sounds like a kind of dangerous i mean after all it is interfering work gridley prose says right why is laughter stronger than the last supporting an active it is of our body . serious i should know because he literally. you could have. a very famous case when i was a little girl in the 1970 s. embrace and there was a television program called the good days and it was very popular and very funny and the following morning of a very funny episode of bane and i remember funny very funny there was a there was a news headline in all the papers a man watching the goodies had laughed so much he had dropped that and actually let off think i'm dying little think no that uncommon because exactly what you say put a lot of stress on your rip cage and that's where your heart is in your lungs on if you're caught if i ask you really compromised you were at more risk when you left
because you can cause you know you start to cause for example a much greater pressure increase inside the rib cage. and in fact many years later the granddaughter of this man who dropped dead was she then on the goodies television program in the seventy's she collapse of the heart attack at the age of 28 well hard to stop eating altogether and she was shown to have an inherited heart problem that she was saved and she got a pacemaker and she's ok but it's almost certainly what her grandfather had so you know is had a weak heart and it was the last thing that heart that actually you know stress his heart so much that he died he just stopped beating now rather beautifully. saying that it was horrible that he died but actually you know he died doing something that he truly loved he was really enjoying himself and that her last memory of him was of him laughing so you know i'm not saying we should all drop dead given we all have to die one day maybe there are worse ways of going right better laughing than
crying that's for sure so probably picture of an old north sail there's always like the scene where theme elite is super nervous and hysterical and then has a fit of laughter so there's all the. man and i had to slap her to bring her back to her senses so sometimes laughter is also a sign of. not of the well being right just the opposite isn't it how does that work like the nervous laugh well i think this 2 kinds of nervous love i think quite often of us love to people trying to use love to deal with a stressful situation and no one else joins in and then it looks old if ever i was joined and it would be fine so if someone loving to go whoa whoa i'm sure this is ok and no one else joins in so that's nervous laughter that's quite common i think there is a 2nd kind of nervous laughter which is associated with more serious situations which is more of a sort of shock response so i've spoken to
a couple of people who were in situations where terrible things that happened but car accidents bad things that happened and they had become salute lee hysterical with laughter and there was like a ha ha nervous laugh it was screaming with laughter unstoppable laughter and completely inappropriate and they didn't want to do it so i think for some people it may be part of a really horrific you know in the same way that you might burst into tears after show these people start laughing and we don't know what the role is that we don't know exactly what's happening but it's definitely something that happens for some people and it seems to be a qualitatively different thing so you mentioned that we're not the only being stat last there are other mammals like champ and rats but they don't joke right they laugh when they play like. you also said the babies they were blind and that's also laugh when they tickle so it's laughing at a good joke last thing and humor is the same as laughing when we're tickled i suspect the for humans there is something qualitatively to say qualitatively
different about humor so wherever you find love in other mammals it's associated with tickling with play with these quest is a cool interactions. there's a really lovely study that came out early this year they talked. routes to play hide and seek and the rats would love when they were looking for the human they would laugh when they found a human they didn't love and they were hiding until they were found and then this thing so you know it's quite quite human like used to still in this context of play and then as soon as you find humans appearing on the earth you find it parents of modern humans you find them starting to make jokes or wherever humans have left any kind of record they leave examples of jokes and hema and i suspect that there's just like another thing that humans have brought to the party as a way of getting to love that doesn't require you to tickle each other or chase each other around that have a guy you can trigger the laughter by wordplay and by descriptions and by slapstick so there's something different going on they still might bring us back to laughter
but it might build on some of the other skills humans have so how do people who are actually studying laughter understand for instance when rats laughs. it's a good question with rats so it's quite obvious with chimpanzees and other apes because it looks and sounds like often we can hear it with rats man you know we don't have at the rats because the guy researching rats in the vocalizations noticed the rats made a very specific sound and they were playing with each other and that's a very social night that they play with each other a lot so they wanted to know if that was left so they got the same rats and they saw the tickling them and then they noticed that the rats made the same sound and they were tickled and if you tickle around then tell you how the way the route will make the sounds trying to get you to take place again does look like it's genuinely it's a it's a thrill is a positive emotion for the rats and it's something they'd like to carry on and they are marking that with this joyful sound let's talk about the role of humor and
laughter and how they're entirely it because joking around actually doesn't in an induced laughter that much i mean especially when you brits write a list of your jokes aren't that absurdist commentary on the bleak reality around you so do humor and laughter are excess. completely separately from each other i think they can be so you can think i can think of things that are very very funny but they don't make me laugh enjoy reading them i enjoy watching them but they are not they're not laugh out loud i can see that they humorous and i can go other things that are humorous make me laugh a huge amount. of course laughter doesn't have to have anything to do with jokes tool is primarily the social behavior but i think that might be what's in common so i think one of the things that is quite interesting about jokes and hema is it still carries a lot of social information so people will write things is funnier if they think they are humorous items like jokes that were told by someone who is known to be
funny to be a comedian and i think it was told by someone who's famous but not a comedian says like a the originator of that bit of comedy if they are a comedian it makes it funnier and people will find things funnier if they like the person who's telling them you know if you don't like a comedian it's fairly unlikely that they will make you love so you get this big kind of swathe of social stuff a bit like aw finding the laughter in friends is how funny a joke seems the way the social information around a joke will still influence the. how funny that joke he seems to be to us so you can think of humor as being a very abstract thing but actually still completely situated in a social context just like laughter so what was your stand up comedy experience showing about laughter when you go against a brick wall do you think oh ok i'm going to test this and that area on them just watching how they will last is that how it works. i think the thing i realized
about doing standup comedy that i did not realize until i did it was how complicated and how interesting the relationship is between the standup comedian in the audience because i used to think less than a comedian is just kind of standing up there and doing their thing and then the audience is reacting but i'm coming to realize that actually it's much much more nuanced than that so the main thing that you have to learn to do to do standup comedy and it sounds somewhat obvious but it's so hard to do is when you get to the point where you get the punchline for a joke you have to pause. so they would use can laugh if you don't pause they won't laugh and if you let them laugh and then you start talking of the laughter they'll stop talking really quickly because they want to hear what you're saying so that's a huge thing and also audiences don't just laugh if they like a joke in the u.k. they'll start clapping and if they can kind of see where you're going but they don't really approve of living is a bit of a rubbish job. you know it's actually much more nuanced in the in the us you know
a lot of cheering a comedy which you don't really see in the u.k. so it's it is more like a weird conversation i think the not realize until i started trying to do it and the other thing if this really interesting is how confident you see if you come out and you look like you are terrified the audience will be very worried and they probably won't laugh and if you do things like you don't know how to use the microphone they will get very uncomfortable and you probably will find it quite hard to get them back so one of the main things that you get taught to do when you 1st do standup comedy is simply how to hold the microphone so that people so that you know you know it's always knew your mouth because that's one of the main things the audience will react if they if you look like you don't know what you're doing they'll be worried and they'll start laughing so it sounds strange because you think it will be about being funny and it is about being funny but actually how the 1st step to being funny is being confident and looking like you're comfortable learning control also has been a blessed talking exam you. all the best and
a lots of laughter coming here thanks for talking to us within talking to ses god you're a scientist professor of cognitive psychology and stand up comics discussing what laughter does to our bodies and lights that's it for this edition of sophie and co i'll see you next james and i wish you a lot of laughter as well. same wrong but old just told. me to get to shape out just to come out to it and engage with equals betrayal.
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