Why do we laugh when we see others get hurt?

There may be no one who has never laughed whenever they see their friend slip, fall, or watch videos of others getting hurt. Have you ever wondered why we laugh when we see other people get hurt? What are the reasons behind this behavior? ACU PAY will take you to find out! The actual reason why we laugh when we see other people getting hurt is quite related to our brain function rather than not having sympathy. The science theory believes that when we laugh, the brain will secrete a chemical called endorphins which affect human pain.


The brain recognizes the behavior of laughing with endorphins in the midbrain, so when we’re in a situation where we’re ‘in pain’, the body responds and laughs to relieve the pain.

Oxford University’s study found that we tolerate more pain if we laugh. There was an experiment where participants joined in watching comedy for 15 minutes and the participant could tolerate the pain 10% more. The researchers identified this as a result of endorphins emitted by laughter.

When we see our friends stumble or watch a video clip where people get a little pain that makes us laugh, it’s not a ridicule laugh but a laugh that makes others feel better and it encourages people who are in pain to laugh and relieve stress.

Moreover, laughter usually comes with jokes and happiness, but laughter can also be used as a means of socialization. It creates an atmosphere that makes others feel better and friendly, that is, laughter occurs as an index that measures the tenacity of a relationship.

Incongruity-resolution Theory

Apart from the biological factors of the body, humor can be caused by factors around it, such as the theory of incongruity and resolution, caused by the error of discovering the discrepancy between two events or by a sudden change in direction from what we hope to see.

For example, we predicted that if we followed scenario A, scenario B would occur. However, the scenario was resolved in an unexpected way through the Y model. When guesswork is inconsistent, laughter becomes a way to resolve disagreements by creating interpretations of what we often encounter in cartoons or comedies.

Thus, when we laugh at our friends in a situation that’s not very laughable, we laugh not only at the clumsiness but there are also many scientific and psychological things hidden underneath the laughter.

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