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The Universality and Cultural Diversity of Laughter and Humour
Laughter is an apparently universal phenomenon, but the humor that causes it seems almost infinitely varied. This article attempts to distinguish between universal aspects of laughter and those which are subject to the observable cultural variability. It defines laughter as a basic human emotion, caused by a cognitive stimulus influenced by social definitions, which explains at least in part its apparent heterogeneity. Other variable aspects include the norms and customs associated with the display of laughter and humor, the various humor genres and formats, humorous institutions and the cultural definitions of laughter itself.

Laughter, humor, emotions.

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