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Laughter: A Scientific Investigation Paperback – December 1, 2001
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From Scientific American
FRANS B. M. DE WAAL, author of Chimpanzee Politics and Good Natured, is director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta and professor of psychology at Emory University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Similarly, the reason you can't expect to laugh much from reading Provine's book is found in the book itself. Laughter is not something you can most reliably expect to do alone reading a book; it is something we do as a social behavior. Its "sociality," the ratio of social to solitary performance of the act, is very high. Provine had his undergraduate students keep logs of their behavior, including laughing, and found that we are thirty times more likely to laugh when with someone else. Another study showed that eye contact between two companions increases the likelihood of laughter. Laughter has a nonlinguistic role of holding people together.Read more ›
The well referenced, very well written and approachable chapters span: introduction; philosophy and history; natural history; sound lab and opera; chimpanzee paleohumorology; ticklish relationships; contagious laughter and the brain; abnormal clinical laughter; health; and ten tips (find a friend, more is merrier, interpersonal contact, casual atmosphere, laugh-ready attitude, exploit contagious laughter, humorous materials, remove inhibitions, stage events, and tickle).
There are interesting clues about laughter and courtship (in 3745 lonely hearts adverts), and well as social/sexual rank in organizations and behavior in "laughter episodes"; as well as many other useful scientific, and sometimes counter-intuitive findings over a decade of `laughter research'.
Strengths include: the depth of fascinating historical, neuroscience, experimental, and contextual information; the superb approachable writing style; the fact that keenest intellects have theoretically grasped at defining the significance of laughter (from the ancient Greeks onwards); and the absolute relevance to almost all for this seemingly-peripheral neglected area of research work.
Certainly one of the best-written, supported, rigorous, entertaining and useful books that this reviewer has come across- and more useful that many `pop psychology' texts for understanding about the human condition, as well as laughter itself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a gift to my son so I really haven't read it, but he is always laughing when he reads it!Published 12 months ago by JazzyGirlMe
This is the best book I've read providing scientific perspectives on laughter and tickling. An empirical eye, a scientists facility with observation and experimentation, and a... Read morePublished on November 25, 2011 by Adam Rosenberg
I was enrolled in Laughter & Humor, a course taught at UMBC by Robert R. Provine (author of the book) and I dropped the class after only two-weeks of enrollment. Read morePublished on November 8, 2011 by Sean
Perhaps those of you giving low ratings should read the title of the book before rating it. This book is an investigation into Laughter NOT Humor. Two very different concepts. Read morePublished on October 15, 2010 by Elle
The results presented are really interesting and the most important: they're not guesses. A set of scientific conclusions, based on scientific methods, is presented. Great work.Published on October 3, 2010 by Douglas
I did a serious study of humor in grad school when I came across Provine's work. Besides being humorless, his "experiments" in humor, the testing methods, and his conclusions were... Read morePublished on July 29, 2010 by Nancy Mccurry
Good grief Man, lighten up! What a boring, dry, dull, tedious extremely "scientific" look into laughter. His comment on companion animals was most vexing. Read morePublished on July 28, 2010 by K. Wingo