The Many Faces of Laughter  笑的面面觀

Bertus van Aswegen

 

精英翻譯社轉自http://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0058/270494/web/

 

 Laughter is an important part of our lives. It's something that comes naturally to us, yet we're unable to control it. While we may hold back our urge to laugh, we can't laugh on command. Why we laugh and how laughter works are questions that have interested many researchers.

笑是我們生活中重要的一部分。笑是我們自然而然就會的事,可是我們沒有能力控制它。儘管我們或許能抑制想笑的衝動,卻不能依照指令而笑。我們為何笑以及笑如何運作是令許多研究人員感興趣的問題。

 

 Contrary to what people may think, laughter isn't most often related to humor. As studies have shown, we tend to laugh the most when we want to create and strengthen relationships. This is obvious from the fact that we rarely laugh when we're alone.

與人們所想的或許相反,笑並非與幽默最有關係。研究顯示,我們最常笑的時候往往是在想要建立並鞏固人際關係時。這點從我們獨自一個人時很少笑就顯而易見。

 

 Laughter also depends on culture. One researcher found that Americans tend to like humor that questions ideas of superiority. The British, however, like to laugh at jokes that make fun of serious topics such as illness and marriage.

笑也因文化而異。一位研究人員發現美國人比較喜歡質疑優越想法的玩笑。然而,英國人則喜歡嘲笑嚴肅話題如疾病和婚姻的笑話。

 

 What about those attacks of laughter we get from being tickled? According to German scientists, tickling activates a part of our brains that perceives pain. This is why we often defend ourselves when being tickled. Laughing from being tickled is a sign of surrender, telling the person who's tickling us that he or she can stop now.

那麼我們被搔癢時引起的笑聲又是怎麼一回事呢?根據德國科學家的說法,搔癢活化了我們大腦中感知痛覺的部份。這就是為什麼我們被搔癢時通常會自我防衛。被搔癢時的笑是一種投降的徵兆,告訴正在搔我們癢的人現在可以停止了。

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