Disparagement humor makes a punchline out of a marginalized group. Racist or sexist jokes, for instance, aren't just harmless fun – psychologists find they can foster discrimination.
No longer dismissed as an undesirable negative trait to be avoided, humor is having a heyday among experimental psychologists.
We start laughing at around 3 months of age. Women laugh more than men, but blokes tell more jokes. As the Melbourne International Comedy Festival begins, here's the latest on mirth.
We are only just starting to understand the linguistic tools that get stuff done, move us to tears, bore us to death, or make us dizzy with delight.