Why We Lick Our Butts – The Psychology of Humor

The use of funny phrases and wordings has been around since man started using words to communicate. Funny is one of the few words that can mean two different things at once. So funny, in such a way that actually makes you laugh:


Some individuals find his humoristic jokes quite peculiar, but believe they are funny. Humor is a human built-in filter, one that helps us understand what is around us and how to react to it. Used for labeling stories or comments which are intended to be funny and appealing,humorous: a humorous tale of one’s prime years in pro football. As a joke, the term ‘rocks’ is funny because it implies that a person is somehow related to the rough game it refers to, thus giving the story some credibility, even if the story is completely absurd.

The use of humor, in conjunction with other kinds of communication, is the key to successful diplomacy and negotiation. Using humorous formulations on paper is the perfect tool for diplomats negotiating in different circumstances. It is an excellent way to defuse conflicts. In contrast, diplomatic communicators must avoid incongruities between what they are trying to communicate and what they find funny.

The benign violations theory says that we have an emotional response when we find something funny. We do not always fully comprehend the intent behind the communication, and when the tone of the communicator crosses the line into being negative, the incongruity theory gives us a chance to avoid those situations all together. When the tone of the communicator crosses the line into being negative, the benign violations theory suggests that we should avoid that person, because the incongruity in tone is an attempt to circumvent the purpose of the humorous phrase.

The funny incongruity theory also says that the human brain is structured to detect incongruities in language, and to make an emotional reaction. People who are highly skilled in using humor, as a tool, as part of the diplomatic skill set, tend to come across as less threatening. Funny words and phrases do not threaten the speaker; instead, they increase the likelihood of the person being perceived as being humorous. That makes people more likely to listen and consider the message. The theory also suggests that people have a greater tolerance for others using humor to diffuse conflicts.

In today’s cultural climate, people are more sensitive than ever before. People are not only looking for entertainment; they are searching for ways to get information. As a result, we are seeing a massive growth in the business of funny videos and funny stuff on the internet. A quick search on YouTube will yield millions of results for the terms funny, and funny movies or TV shows. People are, in fact, having more fun watching funny movies than they are listening to the political pundits on TV.