Segments in this Video

Why are you Laughing? (03:08)


Jimmy Carr teams up with a group of scientists to understand why people laugh and what it means for humanity.

Laughter Taken Seriously (04:47)

Professor Sophie Scott studies recordings of laughter from all over the globe. She discovered that all humans understand laughter; it may be a reflection of humanity's evolutionary history.

Humor vs. Laughter (07:10)

While laughter is universal, humor varies from culture to culture. Comedy is personal, but laughter is primitive and can be considered a type of breath.

Pain Test (03:43)

Studies have shown a person’s threshold for pain increases after they laugh. Professor Robin Dunbar’s wall-sit test demonstrates the phenomenon.

Grooming and Laughter (07:37)

Laughter is a more efficient type of social grooming. A person is able to groom more than one person at a time in opposition to physical grooming.

Fake Laughter (07:00)

Scientists found there are two types of laughter: real laughter and posed laughter. Both of these are equally important to social interaction.

Theory of Comedy (02:25)

A new unified theory states humor that is created in the space between boredom and disgust.

Mismatch of Expectations (06:59)

There are three traditional theories of comedy. The Benign Violations Theory states that everything humorous has a dark side. Laughter is a signal that something "wrong" is actually not wrong.

Rats and Laughter (05:08)

Scientists discovered that rats laugh, helping them to pinpoint the origin of laughter. The discovery provided technology that allows experts to try to develop a new way to fight depression.

Social Emotion (01:46)

Scientists learned laughter is a social emotion that makes people healthier. Comedy functions as a way to make clear what’s wrong with the world.

Credits: Science of Laughter (00:33)

Credits: Science of Laughter

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Science of Laughter

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Right from the start of our lives, we all laugh. But why? Is our sense of humor what sets us apart from the rest of the animal world? Horizon meets the gorillas who bond through shared laughter, and travels to Washington State University to find out how tickling rats might help us treat depression. This is a global quest to discover the positive power of laughter—with some surprising results.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL141230

ISBN: 978-1-64198-150-7

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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