Canadians feel malicious about America

Do you know him? "Two hunters are walking through the forest when one of the two suddenly collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing anymore and his eyes are glazed. The other hunter grabs his cell phone and dials the emergency number. He calls out: My friend is dead! The lady on the emergency number reassures him: Take it easy, I can help you. First you should be absolutely sure that he is actually dead. Silence - then you hear a shot. Back on the phone, the hunter says: Ok, what now? "

Anyone who has laughed now is in good company. This hunter's joke was voted the world's best joke in a large-scale study by the British psychologist Richard Wiseman. Wiseman was looking for international consensus humor and had jokes rated on an Internet site for a year. He received 40,000 jokes and 1.5 million reviews from around the world. The aim of the great study that Wiseman did with the British Association for the Advancement of Science was not only to find the best joke, but also to answer other questions: Is there a male or female humor, what do Europeans laugh at, what about Americans and when is the best time to tell jokes?

The hunter joke was sent in by the 31-year-old psychiatrist Gurpal Gossal from Manchester. The joke gives you the feeling that there are always people in the world who do even more stupid things than you do, he explains. When jokes make people laugh, they always fulfill certain tasks: The laughing people feel superior to the "joke figures", the jokes take some of the heaviness out of some subjects, they surprise with unusual combinations. The hunter joke fulfills all points - and is the consensus humor that Wiseman was looking for. He is found funny in almost all countries and ages. Because that's not the case with all jokes, Wiseman found out: People from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand love jokes with puns, Americans and Canadians prefer jokes that make you feel superior. Many European countries like France, Belgium or Denmark like surreal jokes like these: "A dog goes into a telegram office, takes a form and writes: Wau. Wau. Wau. Wau. Wau. Wau. Wau. Wau. Wau. The official takes the sheet of paper and politely explains to the dog: That's only nine words, you can write a tenth woof for the same price. That wouldn't make any sense, the dog replies. " In these countries people also love jokes that give difficult topics such as death, illness, family problems an amusing note: "A patient: Doctor, yesterday I made a Freudian slip of the tongue. I had dinner with my mother-in-law and wanted to say: Give me a hand the butter, please. Instead I said: You stupid cow ruined my life. " If you want to make the average person laugh, you should tell them a joke at 6:06 p.m. in the middle of the month - Richard Wiseman found out that his test subjects showed the most humor at this time. The least they felt like laughing was at 1.30 a.m.

"For 18 years, my husband and I were the happiest people in the world. Then we met." An actually sad fact turns into a laughing success here in a joke. We are amused by the utterance of a rather sad fate. By telling such jokes or laughing at them, feelings or aggression can be discharged. Sigmund Freud dealt with the relationship between wit and the unconscious. The joke becomes an outlet for repressions and socially undesirable things. Freud collected jokes and puns of diabolical ambiguity and meticulously analyzed their techniques. This includes ambiguous expressions or displaced lines of thought, such as in Freud's example in "The joke and its relationship to the unconscious", in which he cites many Jewish jokes: "An impoverished man borrowed 25 gulden from a wealthy acquaintance with many protests of his plight. The same For days the patron met him in the restaurant in front of a bowl of salmon with mayonnaise. He reproaches him: What, you borrow money from me and then you order salmon with mayonnaise? You used my money for that? I don't understand, replies the accused: If I have no money, I can't eat salmon with mayonnaise, if I have money, I can't eat salmon with mayonnaise. So when should I actually eat salmon with mayonnaise? " Omissions, allusions, exaggerations - the techniques for constructing jokes are innumerable. The aim of the joke is to gain pleasure and reduce conflicts. At the same time, one can show solidarity with like-minded people against those who think differently or authorities through jokes. Countless official or teacher jokes tell about it, we laugh at blondes, Burgenlanders, Mühlviertlers, Scots, East Frisians, hunters or mothers-in-law. In any case, the objects of laughter are "the others", making fun of third parties unites the group.

In addition to solidarity, glee is also a motor for our laughter. When someone ends up on the seat of their pants because of a banana peel, hardly anyone can stop giggling. Richard Wiseman calls this "superiority theory": We feel good about the fact that the person who stumbles makes a fool of himself. And this is how such jokes work: characters who misunderstand something obvious, make a stupid mistake, are helpless victims of external circumstances, make us laugh - because we feel superior. We distance ourselves from the unlucky fellow and thereby elevate ourselves.

Another theory as to why we laugh at jokes is that of incongruence. When things don't go together or have surprising combinations, the laughs are already programmed. A big nose, a small man among giants, talking animals attract our attention and make us laugh. Even good jokes have to offer unusual combinations - according to Freud, there are also connections that include forbidden or taboo topics. We can act out suppressed needs, aggression, fears through the joke. As with this joke: "On Monday morning a criminal is led to the execution. He says: The week has started well". We laugh at the man who is about to die because he reacts to the serious situation with a brisk phrase. The strange combination, the inconsistency makes us laugh, at least a smile, the laughter distances us from the seriousness of the story.

Why are we telling jokes to each other? Because we like to laugh and make others laugh. It strengthens the sense of community, creates a relaxed atmosphere, has something playful about it. And jokes are only part of what we laugh at. It is often spontaneous punch lines, witty comments, silly mistakes, group internals that amuse us. People who laugh a lot are found sympathetic by others and, last but not least, do something that is essential for their health. Richard Wiseman reports in his LaughLab that people who laugh more and don't take life too seriously have stronger immune systems than others. Laughter stabilizes the circulation, stimulates blood flow, it helps us to breathe deeper, stimulates the heartbeat and activates many different muscles in the face and upper body. It's like doing a little workout for the body - one researcher estimated that having a laughing fit stimulates the heartbeat as much as ten minutes on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. But laughter is also a small wellness vacation: When we laugh, we release happiness hormones that relax us. This is also good for digestion, laughter stimulates the metabolism and also relieves pain. Laughter can also help with depressive moods; humor is also used in psychotherapy, for example. So: do you already know him?