GO IN DEPTH

A Good Laugh

A Good Laugh Photo Credit: Clipart.com.

Introduction

What kinds of things make you laugh? Why do we laugh? This lesson focuses on the various theories of laughter and on the benefits of laughter to our mental health. In addition, it explores psychoneuroimmunology (the science of studying the benefits of laughter to our immune system).


Exploration

If you knew that a comic was interested in finding out why people laugh, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. But did you know that there is a science of laughter? Visit this website to find out more:

As you are reading about the science of laughter, jot down answers to these questions. You will discuss them with the class.

  • What are the three theories about what we find humorous?
  • What is the basis for the incongruity theory?
  • What is the superiority theory?
  • Explain the relief theory.
  • Which theory is used by the film industry?

We've learned that laughter is important to our social, mental, and physical health. Now we will focus on its benefits to mental health in this section. Read Laughter and Health to find out why.

As you read about the psychological effects of laughter, jot down answers to these questions. You will discuss them with the class.

  • What are some of the effects that laughter can have on the human body?
  • Which negative emotions might be released by laughter?
  • Why do you think that this might be important?

In addition to just plain feeling good, it appears that laughter can also be good for us. In this part of the lesson, we focus on the physical benefits of laughter to our immune system.

Now read:

As you are reading about laughter and the immune system, jot down answers to these questions. You will discuss them with the class.

  • What is psychoneuroimmunology?
  • Psychoneuroimmunology studies the interactions between which parts of your body?
  • What does bad stress do to your immune system?
  • Why is this bad?

Knowledge Check

You should now work on the How Laughter Benefits Your Immune System project, using the student sheet provided.

Even though creativity is important, your projects should accurately describe the principal function of the immune system, what the parts of the system are and how they work together, as well as how laughter can benefit the function of the immune system.

These resources will be useful as you develop your project:


This esheet is a part of the The Laughing Brain 2: A Good Laugh lesson.

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Esheet Details

Grades
AAAS