Laughter is different from humor. They’re related, but different.
Laughter long pre-dates humor because modern humor has both cognitive and language elements.
Primitive man used laughter as a way of diffusing stress and communicating friendly intentions. Modern man also uses it to elicit positive reactions from others.
Laughter wasn’t studied until the 1990's although humor has been analyzed for decades.
Humor has a more subtle role. Humor’s primary job is to serve as a buffer to relieve physical stress.
Those who understand the “in jokes” belong to the same group. They can identify one another by understanding those “in jokes”. It’s like a code that develops trust and encourages the group members to abide by the rules.
Both laughter and humor are essential to a fun and healthy life.
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