Monday, January 18, 2010

Humour, it's in your genes

Humour is a funny thing (did you catch what I just did there) one persons joke can lead to huge belly laughs, mild grins, disgust or complete incomprehension.

So I looked at this and wondered...
British humor linked to genetics

LONDON, March 11 (UPI) -- Sarcasm and self-depreciation, hallmarks of British humor that don't always travel well, may be linked to genetics, a researcher said.
Rod Martin, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said television shows such as "Fawlty Towers" and "The Office," show people in Britain enjoy cruel or dark humor more than people from other countries, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Martin and his research team surveyed 2,000 pairs of twins in Britain and 500 pairs of twins in North America.
"The British may have a greater tolerance for a wide range of expressions of humor," Martin said. "In the North American version of 'The Office,' the lead character is much less insensitive and intolerant than in the original UK version."
I mean, how does that prove anything about genetics? Wouldn't it be more likely due to culture?

If you wanted to prove it was genetics, you'd have to take people of British decent in other countries and show that they had the same sense of humour.
It certainly does help to understand certain cultural things to be able to 'get' certain aspects of humour in different countries.

Even so, British humour isn't even the most miserable and cruel either, there are plenty of other countries where it is even more so.

Still, it's just a bit of crazyness and humour I believe is subjective, not genetic, still it did make me smile.

4 annotations:

Barking Spider said...

I'd go along with that, QM, I lived in America for a couple of years and after I'd been there for a while, I clicked with the sense of humour - a lot of American humour , whether political or otherwise, is based around public figures, so you need to know who they are and what they do and what's going on with them at the time - then it's funny.

Ross said...

I'd agree that humour is more likely to be cultural than genetic. If it was genetic then you wouldn't expect comedy to become dated but it's often hard to work out what is so funny about old comedy routines that were considered brilliant in their day.

Anastasia F-B said...

Off topic, QM, I just wanted to say I think you have a super blog. I'm sorry I haven't visited before.

subrosa said...

QM you've got a click I see. :)

Humour's nothing to do with genes. My mother never said a witty thing in her life and she was miserable as sin really although well loved by my father.

Naw you make your own humour. Even I laughed at the jokes when I lived with the Germans. :)