I recall on many an occasion sitting in an audience, or in front of a boob TV, and listening to a slew of jokes that weren’t the least bit funny. I didn’t laugh, but virtually everyone else did. I just figured I had a different sense of humor or too much intelligence–take your pick. Now comes scientific proof that laughing at [tag]jokes[/tag] is a means of gaining social acceptance, in fact a survival instinct mastered by four months of age. Say what? Researchers used this so-called joke:
So there are these two muffins baking in an oven. One of them yells, "Wow, it’s hot in here!" And the other muffin replies: "Holy cow! A talking muffin!"
When they tried this unfunny joke on different groups, results varied. A control group put in an underling position, much like workers with their boss telling the muffin joke, exhibited good guffaws. When the control group was told they were the bosses, no one laughed. Get it? Laughing for survival and social acceptance. Which brings me back to my initial point: I think most people laugh at jokes in a crowd because it helps them "fit in" and gain acceptance. Otherwise, there’s something wrong with me because most jokes aren’t in the least bit funny to me.