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Laughter (And Other Emotions) Are Universal

Scientists are learning that emotions, such as laughter, are universal.

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Photo: Extra Medium (flickr)

Laughter, among other emotions, is now known to be universal.

Seinfeld was one of the funniest TV shows ever. Pretty much everyone loved it.

Everyone, that is, in the United States. And probably in many other developed countries, too. Because, after all, anyone engaged in the daily grind would connect with the show’s absurd take on the odd, quirky details of modern life.

But what about people in developing countries? Or what if we were to visit a tribe deep in the Amazon that lived a more or less Stone Age existence. If we plopped them down in front of Seinfeld, would they get it?

Would They Get It?

Probably not. But they would understand that something funny is going on. Why? Because they’d hear laughter on the soundtrack.

Scientists studying emotions have found that basic emotions like amusement, anger, fear, and sadness are common among all cultures. And people from different cultures, whether they’re modern Americans or pre modern aborigines, recognize sound cues like laughter to signify specific emotions.

Laughter Is Universal

In other words, all people, everywhere around the world, laugh when they’re amused. And cry when they’re sad. And make scared sounds when they’re scared. Even some non human animals, like chimps, have a type of laughter.

So we may not all find the same things funny or scary or sad. But we all feel and express these emotions.

Read More: Researchers Identify Universal Emotions (medicalnewstoday)

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