Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

More complex jokes tend to be funnier but only up to a point, Oxford researchers have found. Jokes that are too complicated tend to lose the audience.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Since the earliest times, laughter and humour have performed important functions in human interaction. They help to expedite courtship, improve conversational flow, synchronize emotional states and enhance social bonding. Jokes, a structured form of humour, give us control over laughter and are therefore a way to elicit these positive effects intentionally. In order to comprehend why some jokes are perceived as funny and others are not, Robert Dunbar and colleagues at Oxford University investigated the cognitive mechanism underlying laughter and humour. The research is published in Springer’s journal Human Nature.

Read more

Similar stories

Oxford vaccine reaches one billion doses released

The University of Oxford’s and our partners AstraZeneca have today announced that one billion doses of the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 coronavirus vaccine have been released, to more than 170 countries, marking a key milestone as part of the University and AstraZeneca’s joint vision to make the available to the world, on a not-for-profit basis for the world during the pandemic, and in perpetuity for low- and middle-income countries.

Phase I trial begins of new vaccine against the Plague

Researchers at the University of Oxford today launched a Phase 1 trial to test a new vaccine against plague.

New therapeutic targets identified in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis

Researchers identify two inflammatory-driving proteins, osteopontin and CCL2, highly expressed in psoriatic arthritis joints.

Treatment choice for rotator cuff disorders could create efficiency and savings for the NHS

A trial that evaluated the clinical and cost effectiveness of physiotherapy treatments for rotator cuff disorders suggests cost savings can be made while maintaining positive patient outcomes.

Neutrophil molecular wiring revealed: transcriptional blueprint of short-lived cells

Researchers publish the first blueprint of transcriptional factors that control neutrophil-driven inflammation in Nature Immunology.