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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"[A] well-written, often amusing and always fascinating exposé." —Scientific American

Présentation de l'éditeur

Do men and women laugh at the same things?
Is laughter contagious?
Has anyone ever really died laughing?
Is laughing good for your health?

Drawing upon ten years of research into this most common-yet complex and often puzzling-human phenomenon, Dr. Robert Provine, the world's leading scientific expert on laughter, investigates such aspects of his subject as its evolution, its role in social relationships, its contagiousness, its neural mechanisms, and its health benefits. This is an erudite, wide-ranging, witty, and long-overdue exploration of a frequently surprising subject.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 272 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Books; Édition : Reprint (1 décembre 2001)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0141002255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141002255
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,6 x 1,5 x 20,1 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Première phrase
In laughter we emit sounds and express emotions that come from deep within our biologic being-grunts and cackles from our animal unconscious. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Olivier le 14 juillet 2002
Format: Broché
Provine a dépensé autant de patience à étudier le baillement que le rire, sous tous leurs aspects comportementaux. A lire pour comprendre pourquoi rire et bailler sont contagieux. Une bible sur le sujet unique en son genre. La neuropsychologie à la portée de chacun, un modèle de vulgarisation de qualité.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 18 commentaires
24 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
No Laughing Matter 5 janvier 2001
Par R. Hardy - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Don't expect to get lots of laughs by just reading _Laughter: A Scientific Investigation_ (Viking) by Robert R. Provine. It's not merely that Provine is covering a serious subject. He is as good as his word: his book is a scientific investigation, and he is neuroscientist by profession who has done original research on laughter published in such non-newsstand rags as _Ethology_ and _Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society_. And it's not that Provine is an unentertaining, dour writer; he has a light touch, and good explicative skills, he is happy to share a joke, and his stories about some of the ways he has done experiments are funny. For instance, we can share his bemusement over his initial explorations of why people laugh; he got a group into a clinic and played them funny tapes. He failed to get anything but a few chuckles. It was his first demonstration that laughter was a social behavior, not a laboratory one. He went on to study people in social situations.
Similarly, the reason you can't expect to laugh much from reading Provine's book is found in the book itself. Laughter is not something you can most reliably expect to do alone reading a book; it is something we do as a social behavior. Its "sociality," the ratio of social to solitary performance of the act, is very high. Provine had his undergraduate students keep logs of their behavior, including laughing, and found that we are thirty times more likely to laugh when with someone else. Another study showed that eye contact between two companions increases the likelihood of laughter. Laughter has a nonlinguistic role of holding people together.
Provine writes about many other curious studies, about the illnesses that can impair or propagate laughter, about the neurological explorations of the under-researched universal behavior of tickling, about the physiology of laughter and speech, about laugh epidemics that can paralyze schools, and about the Pentecostals that get "drunk in the Spirit" with laugh sessions. Wide-ranging and entertaining, _Laughter_ provides us with interesting studies on something we take for granted, and gives insight on just how hard doing such studies can be because of the commonness of the phenomenon involved. Provine wisely does not concentrate on wit, humor, or the meaning of things that influence us to laugh. It's laughter itself that is the subject, and given the nature of the theme, one comes away with even more admiration for the subtlety, cleverness, and capacity of the human mind.
28 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Breath of Fresh Air 19 octobre 2000
L'évaluation d'un enfant - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I have been reading, writing, and teaching about humor and laughter for over a decade, and this is one of the best books I have seen. The title is an accurate prediction of the book's content: The approach blends the skepticism, humility, and freedom from biases that are the defining traits of the true scientist. Provine pursues laughter in its larger context of our history as a species rather than the usual context of the history of Western Thought. He is seeking what laughter actually is and does, not what the army of laughter promotors desire it to be and do. This is, in some ways, a book of questions - the right questions - that will generate productive research. Because Provine follows laughter everywhere it leads, the resulting presentation is wide ranging, taking the reader into a variety of fields that are rarely if ever addressed in the same volume. Although some of these fields (e.g., opera and brain disorders) are highly specialized and esoteric, Provine defines terms and provides background in a way that permits readers to accompany him into unfamiliar territory. This book belongs in the reference library of everyone whose vocation or avocation touches the study of laughter. I would also recommend this book for any thoughtful reader in pursuit of fresh insights. Although some parts may not be of interest to everyone, there is plenty of material about those accessible and universally-appealing topics of sex, power, and the gender wars.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Widely Appealing/Useful Laughter Insight 31 décembre 2000
Par Prof David T Wright - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Despite not digging deeply into De Bono's lateral thinking/humor etc texts (?perhaps a style thing), I am very glad to have read the seemingly similar-topic 'Laughter' by Provine. It's not overstating to say that this book is probably relevant to all who deal with people (i.e. everyone)- addressing as it does conversations, relationships, family, mental & physical health, tickling fights (!), evolution, group dynamics, marketing and consumerism in the media and religion, and coaching performance.
The well referenced, very well written and approachable chapters span: introduction; philosophy and history; natural history; sound lab and opera; chimpanzee paleohumorology; ticklish relationships; contagious laughter and the brain; abnormal clinical laughter; health; and ten tips (find a friend, more is merrier, interpersonal contact, casual atmosphere, laugh-ready attitude, exploit contagious laughter, humorous materials, remove inhibitions, stage events, and tickle).
There are interesting clues about laughter and courtship (in 3745 lonely hearts adverts), and well as social/sexual rank in organizations and behavior in "laughter episodes"; as well as many other useful scientific, and sometimes counter-intuitive findings over a decade of `laughter research'.
Strengths include: the depth of fascinating historical, neuroscience, experimental, and contextual information; the superb approachable writing style; the fact that keenest intellects have theoretically grasped at defining the significance of laughter (from the ancient Greeks onwards); and the absolute relevance to almost all for this seemingly-peripheral neglected area of research work.
Certainly one of the best-written, supported, rigorous, entertaining and useful books that this reviewer has come across- and more useful that many `pop psychology' texts for understanding about the human condition, as well as laughter itself.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting Insights into Studying and Exploring Laughter 8 avril 2005
Par Matthew Mallory - Publié sur
Format: Broché
A purely simple behaviour at a glimpse, laughter has largely been under-studied. Provine discusses how he learned how to study laughter, and provides simple facts about laughter that have gone largely unnoticed. Furthermore, he tackles the evolutionary links between bipedalism, speech and language through his studies on laughter. He takes a fascinating look into how laughter can serve as a powerful probe into social behaviours. Reading laughter will give you a whole new view of this instinctive behaviour, and it will begin to shed light on the psychological and biological importance of this ancient remnant. Laughter is an exceptionally entertaining book! It is not a complex read, but a must-read for the inquisitive-minded individual.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Perhaps you should read the title before offering your opinion 15 octobre 2010
Par Elle - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Perhaps those of you giving low ratings should read the title of the book before rating it. This book is an investigation into Laughter NOT Humor. Two very different concepts. He is looking into the actual behavior of Laughter, not Humor, which is more-so a quality one has rather than a behavior one exhibits. Note to future readers: do not buy this book in hopes of gaining more insight on the topic of humor.
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