UNDERSTANDING JOKES AND UNDERSTANDING CULTURE. A SENSE OF HUMOUR AND MEMBERSHIP OF A CULTURAL SOCIETY
The author of the article concentrates on the issue of the role of humour and jokes in the social life of a person and the qualitative jump which that person makes in understanding humorous situations at around 3-4 years of age. Supporting his argument with theses from the realms of psychology and evolutionary sociology, he points out the possible lines along which laughter and humour could have developed in the primates, including Homo Sapiens. The key concept in these deliberations is the theory of mind module, the mental capacity which makes possible empathy, the manipulation of the partner in the interaction and the understanding of the false convictions which seem to be the foundations of understanding humorous situations. While referring to his own observations the author tries to outline the principles governing human laughter depending on the presence of the theory of mind module. He points out that it is that which enriches interaction and the exchange of information which is important from a social point of view. The conclusions drawn from the concept of the theory of thought also allows for acknowledgement of the fact that understanding the punch line is based on the same mechanisms as understanding the essence of culture, as a result of which the thesis can be put forward that there is a very strong tie between a person's level of culture and their ability to perceive humorous situations.
CEJSH db identifier