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Humor and Socialization - Essay Example

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With the advent of present-day technology, movies can be watched just about anywhere; from airplanes to iPods. It is common knowledge that the kind of movie a person watches affects his or her feelings at the time; one only has to attend a few public screenings to note the audience reaction to a frightening plot twist or a humorous line…
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Humor and Socialization
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Humor and Socialization: Is it Better to Laugh Alone THE OF YOUR SCHOOL OR Humor and Socialization: Is it Better to Laugh Alone
With the advent of present-day technology, movies can be watched just about anywhere; from airplanes to iPods. It is common knowledge that the kind of movie a person watches affects his or her feelings at the time; one only has to attend a few public screenings to note the audience reaction to a frightening plot twist or a humorous line. It is also well known that people form preferences for one genre or another, with some drawn to the frightening or macabre and others to romantic comedies or slapstick antics.
Those who choose to indulge in laughter may be on to something. "Studies find that laughter has many health benefits such as reducing stress and lowering blood pressure...a 2005 study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine showed that laughter helps blood vessels function better" (BIOMED, 2006, p. 420). For academic integrity it should be noted, however, that not all experts agree on this point: Sahakian & Frishman find that that there are "many discrepancies and conflicts in the medical literature regarding laughter, humor, and their effects on the cardiovascular system" (2007, p. 57).
Beyond the positive physiological effects, there is a social component to humor which sociologists and the psychological sciences have begun to explore. Van Wormer & Boes, in their study on the social perspective of humor in the emergency room setting, posit that "humor usually cannot be enjoyed alone, interaction and sharing are important components" but go on to conclude that "in the short term, humor can provide a healthy catharsis" (1997, pp. 89, 95).
It is this aspect of humor which this study proposes to undertake. There is a case to made for the position taken by social scientist like Lauer, that "we find things funny because we are social beings, and laughter is just one form of communication" (2007, p. 22). That position, however, does not address nor allow for the solitary laugher. By using comedic motion pictures, both in large settings (theaters) and in isolation (DVD or iPod), could an objective and measurable difference in an individual's response to a specific comedic event simply because it occurred in a social setting be differentiated
The proposed hypothesis is that humor is humor, i.e., something is either funny or not; and that comedic element, in and of itself, is capable of stimulating laughter without regard to social setting.
References
BIOMED INSTRUM TECNOL. (2006). Humor and Heart Health. Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology, 40, (6), 420-420.
Lauer, C.S. (2007). Tracking laughs: Studies find a socialization role for humor. Modern Healthcare, 37, (13), 22.
Sahakian, A. & Frishman, W.H. (2007). Humor and the
Cardiovascular System. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 13, (4), 56-58.
Van Wormer, K. & Boes, M. (1997). Humor in the Emergency
Room: A Social Work Perspective. Health and Social Work, 22, (2), 87-96. Read More
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