Laughter => honesty

Comedy theory in conflict resolution

I have long believed that where there is laughter, there is honesty. Part of this is about closeness - people who are laughing are sharing their humanity. It is easy to admit mistakes in an atmosphere which says "we are all human here, and to err is human". Another important aspect is the relaxation that laughter brings - humour defuses tension, and lowers the risks of honesty.

This quote from the anecdote site is interesting, as it succinctly explains another factor. It's the way that humour often uses bisociation - that almost Schrödingian double universe effect - to tickle us. Our mind creates a probable conclusion to a gag, but the punchline gives us another, surprising conclusion which we find works equally well if we just adopt another mindset.

Andrew Rixon quotes complex knowledge:

“As Koestler has shown, humour is built on ‘bisociation’ – the ability to mentally and emotionally to traverse both paths of a bifurcating line of thought, the recognition of which provokes laughter. Bisociation through humour permitted the managers a more complex view of their organisation, it offered a both/and rather than an either/or orientation to the contradictions of managing and organising”

Thus, humour can show us that there is another way to see the world, while defusing tension at the same time. How very apt to conflict resolution.

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