Monday, 13 November 2017

Do Animals Have Humor?


By Joseph Castro, Live Science Contributor | November 6, 2017 06:22am ET

Between verbal jokes, slapstick comedy and tickling, there are numerous reasons we laugh. But are humans the only species with a sense of humor?

The short answer is no, but it also depends on how you define "humor."

For millennia, philosophers and psychologists have struggled to come up with an exact definition for what constitutes as humor. They've presented numerous theories over the years, one of the most popular being the "incongruity theory" of humor. At its basic level, this theory says that humor arises when there's an inconsistency between what one expects to happen and what actually happens — and this includes comedic tools like puns, irony and twists of fate.

Under this definition, the vast majority of animals probably don't have a sense of humor, as they lack the cognitive mechanisms and networks that would allow them to identify such inconsistencies.


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