Sangeetha Pulapaka

It depends on the type of joke. Jokes may be less funny to some people than others.Joking is a social interaction- a strategy that people use to do a variety of things. I personally love good clean humor. I use humor as a way to bond with people or to lighten up a  serious topic. I feel if everyone of us could smile a little more and be a little less serious, it would make the world a much happierplace, Too corny? Hey, it is who I am! No, not corny. Just my opnion. Coming back to your question......


Like I mentioned a joke is used in an attempt to reduce interpersonal anxiety between people who are interacting with each other. Sometimes, too, a joke is used to make a social comment. interpersonal anxiety and social comment are both often motivated by neo-diversity anxiety. Neo-diversity refers to the interpersonal situation all Americans now live in; a situation where every day we all have encounters (and sometimes interactions) with people from many different groups by way of gender, bodily-condition, ethinicity, sexual-orientation, mental-health condition, religion, gender-identity, and race. For some that situation brings out a neo-diversity anxiety that activates prejudice and bigotry.

A joke is used to camouflage anti-group feelings (i.e. prejudice). But the camouflage is itself a neo-diversity problem. Camouflage, you see, does not eliminate the bigotry of the joke. Outward, behavioral (word or deed) expression of anti-group feelings is bigotry. No matter how it is dressed, bigotry is still bigotry. 

Understand, too, that the point of that bigotry is to push group division; us versus them. Jokes activate that minimal group effect; automatic categorization of people into groups with a tendency to see those groups as being in competition with each other.

A blonde joke, then, is not just a joke; it is divisive.

A joke about women is not just a joke; it is divisive.

A joke about violence against women is more than divisive; it is demeaning, and dangerous.

You might wonder, though, who would joke about violence against women. Turns out far too many college males think those jokes are funny.

How do our brains know when something is funny? it's thanks to the frontal lobe of our brain, which is responsible for our emotional responses. So while the left side is responsible for interpreting the words and structure of a joke, the right side determines whether that joke is funny or not.

Research has also shown that the limbic system at the centre of the brain - which contains the amygdala and hippocampus and processes our most basic emotions, such as hunger and fear - is also triggered when we see or hear something funny. This activity eventually stimulates the motor region of the brain to become active, and that's what produces the physical reaction of laughing and the vocal expulsion of sound.

Sometimes though people also laugh in a sad situations. Here is more on this


It’s now becoming clear that though laughter is an essential social sign of affection and affiliation, it may be even more important than that.  Laughter relieves stress and lightens the mood. Laughter is a phenomenally useful way for people to regulate their emotions together – and feel better together. In this context, jokes and humour may form incredibly useful reasons to laugh together.

Without further ado, the scientifically-proven funniest joke in the world:

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He’s not breathing and his eyes are glazed, so his friend calls 911. “My friend is dead! What should I do?” The operator replies, “Calm down, sir. I can help. First make sure that he’s dead.” There’s a silence, then a loud bang. Back on the phone, the guy says, “Ok, now what?”

When a situation is serious but cannot be assimilated because of dissociation or shock, it is in the same state as an absurd statement -- you are trying to take it seriously, or find meaning in it, but you just can't. You keep giving up, but then trying again. Since the situation is real in this case, the impulse toward laughter can be much stronger than real humorous laughter evokes. In my experience it is accompanied by a specific feeling of dissociation, like living in a Lewis Carroll novel.  In a state of shock or disbelief on hearing serious or sad news, one just freezes according to me :-)