Psychology, Laughter and Humor


I recently found a fascinating presentation by Alleen Nilsen and Don L.F. Nilsen that explores the psychology of humor.  The PowerPoint contains more slides for references than it does content, so you know it’s a great consolidated work of a number of studies looking at humor and psychology.

Some highlights from the presentation include a focus on the power of laughter and humor:

  • “To laugh, or to occasion laughter through humor and wit, is to invite those present to come closer.” (slide 15)
  • “Laughter and humor are indeed like an invitation, be it an invitation for dinner, or an invitation to start a conversation: it aims at decreasing social distance.” (slide 15)
  • “Humor is both the cause for laughter, and the result of laughter.” (slide 34)

It’s no wonder that laughter is the universal language, and that humor is so important to creating relationships and building relationships.

Source: Humor and Psychology by Alleen Nilsen and Don L.F. Nilsen.  Arizona State University, 2008.

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