The truth about laughter - PAEG CLM

The truth about laughter
Why do we laugh? Most people believe that laughter involves humour, but it seems that laughter is really a serious business.
Dr Robert Provine conducted research in shopping centres in the USA to find out when and why people laugh. He found out that most laughter did not occur after jokes but in response to simple statements, such as “It was nice to meet you, too”. This suggests that laughter is not just a response to humour, but has got other, less obvious functions.
Sometimes we laugh to mask fear (think of a roller-coaster ride at an amusement park) or express relief, especially after a stressful experience. Often, laughter helps us to bond with other people – we rarely laugh out loud when we are alone. In many situations, laughter has got a positive social function, reinforcing social relationships within a group. However, laughter may sometimes have the opposite effect – people who are laughed at will probably feel excluded from the group. And sometimes laughter is about power: a boss may laugh in order to control the emotional mood of surrounding individuals.
A good laugh also has a physical effect. It obviously involves facial muscles, but may also involve arms, legs and torso, and so uses up calories. And laughing affects our breathing, relaxing arteries and lowering blood pressure. It even increases the amount of immune response cells in the blood, and increases blood flow to the brain, stimulating a feel-good response. So perhaps laughter really is the best medicine!
And so we will continue to laugh several times a day. Oh, do you know why the chicken crossed the road? Obviously, to get to the other side!


Add TRUE or FALSE and copy the evidence from the text to support your answer.
NO marks are given for only true or false.
1.    Laughter is always a response to humour.
2.    People sometimes laugh when they are frightened.
3.    People usually laugh with other people.
4.    More blood flows to the brain during laughter.


Find words or phrases in the text that mean the same as these given.
1.    to discover: to find out (paragraph 2)
2.    when something is easy to see or understand: obvious (paragraph 2)
3.    to connect and feel comfortable with others: to bond (paragraph 3)
4.    authority: power (paragraph 3)


1. Write two words from the text that have the same diphthong sound as “food”. (Underline the part of the word which contains the diphthong.)
too, mood, you, ...
2.    Which of the following words has the same vowel sound as “up”?
1. truth    2. blood    3. laugh
3. Write a past form from the text that sounds the same as “jumped” /t/.


Rewrite the following sentences starting with the words given.
1.    Although I was tired, I stayed out late last night.        
2.    It rained so we didn’t go to the beach yesterday.
 3.    The waiter didn’t bring the food to the right customer.
4.  “Why didn’t you say anything at the meeting?” my boss asked.
5. Amy is my best friend. She lives in the same building as me.
6. Dr Robert Provine conducted research in shopping centres in the USA.    


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