Why do we laugh? Laughter has surprisingly little to do with jokes and funny stories. It is an ancient, unconsciously controlled vocal relic that co-exists with our relatively modern speech - a social, psychological and biological act which predates humour and is shared with our primate cousins, the great apes. In this fascinating book Robert Provine uses laughter as a powerful probe into human social relationships, revealing that tickling is a form of tactile communication, not a reflex; that women laugh more at men than vice-versa; that speakers laugh more than their audiences; and that laughter is mostly about relationships, not jokes. Using the latest evidence, Provine describes laughter using sonic analysis and opera scores, evaluates whether you can 'laugh you way to health', considers what laughter shows about neuropathology, and suggests how to change environments to increase laughter. The first book to establish laughter as a topic of scientific worth, Laughter also includes such esoterica as the history of holy laughter, laughing gas, canned laughter, and a description of the Tanganyikan laughter epidemic that immobilized an entire school district in 1962.
This 2000 paperback first edition appears unread. The cover and the page book are both in a very good condition; there is only a little fading on the spine and a small scratch on the front cover.