By Herbert M. Lefcourt

In his previous paintings the writer has studied tension and the character features that shield us from its results on wellbeing and fitness and future health. during this new e-book he locations humor firmly in the literatures of coping methods, the moderation of annoying stories, and well-being via exhibiting how humor can assist create and inspire emotions of group, closeness, and regulate. Lefcourt blends empirical learn with anecdotal studies during this considerate volume.

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Additional resources for Humor: The Psychology of Living Buoyantly

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Among his various honors, Benigni was invited to the Vatican to present the film to the Pope. It was one of the very few films that the Pope has seen in his lifetime. After viewing the film with Benigni the Pope embraced him. The Pope seemed to have been overwhelmed by the ressurrective theme of the film wherein the horrors of the Holocaust were diminished by humor. However, not everyone was so enamored. David Denby, movie critic for The New Yorker magazine, felt compelled to write two separate reviews of the film (November 16,1998; March 15,1999) because he was so disturbed by the premisethat agonies such as concentration camp life could be relieved by clownishness.

It was McDougall (1903, 1922) who first suggested that laughter could playa role in reducing the impact of these social forces that undermined rational behavior. Laughter was described as a device for avoiding excessive sympathy, saving us not only from depression and grief but from all other forms of vicarious sympathy, a position not unlike that of recent writings about humor serving to alleviate distress (emotional arousal): The possession of this peculiar dispOSition (laughter) shields us from the depressing influence which the many minor mishaps and shortcomings of our fellows would exert upon us if we did not possess it, and which they do exert upon those unfortunate persons in whom the disposition seem to be abnormally weak or altogether lacking.

Smiles and laughter occur in all human societies. However, there can be laughter without humor-as a sign of victory, for example. A famous picture of Hitler shows him doing a jig with a seeming expression of laughter on his face after hearing of the fall of France. But al- 41 42 CHAPTER 4 though he has been said to have been relatively humorless, even Hitler was known to joke and laugh, as will be noted in a later chapter. When it comes to humor, however, the phenomenon is more complex. If humor can be seen as a form of social interaction that includes play between the performers that becomes an occasion for laughter, then we can assert that humor too is universal.

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