The Ultimate Laughter Quiz

By: Marianne Spoon

The Ultimate Laughter Quiz
Image: Hero Images/Hero Images/Getty Images

About This Quiz

When was the last time you laughed? Chances are, you've already done it today. Laughter has social, psychological and physiological functions -- some researchers are even looking to use laughs in therapy. Test who will have the last laugh: you or the Ultimate Laughter Quiz.
What's the term for the recorded laughs played during comical moments on sitcoms and other TV shows?
a laugh track
We've all heard the unusually loud laughs from laugh tracks after mediocre jokes on TV. If the moment isn't funny, the inappropriate use of a laugh track sure is.
a laugher box
a laugh-o-tron

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Are people more likely to laugh by themselves or around others?
by themselves
around other people
No wonder movies seem funnier in the theater than at home -- people are 30 times more likely to laugh in a social setting than sitting by their lonesome.
Research shows there's no difference.

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We all know that hysterical feeling when someone tickles us, but it's a whole different story if you try to do it yourself. Why is it so hard to tickle yourself?
There's no unease or tension.
Our cerebellums automatically distinguish expected versus unexpected sensations.
Both are correct.
The lack of tension or uneasiness coupled with how the cerebellum reacts to the tickling usually prevents us from successfully tickling ourselves.

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How many times per day does the average adult laugh?
7
17
Throughout the day, the average adult releases around 17 laughs.
27

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Which of the following responses does NOT usually result from a hearty laugh?
increased blood flow
more difficulties sleeping
There are many health-related responses to laughing, but a poor night's sleep isn't one of them. Laughing is beneficial to your health -- it can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, reduce stress and burn calories.
increased antibodies

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Laughter has apparently found the funny bones of scientists, because there's a field of study devoted to it. What is the study of laughter called?
philematology
gelotology
Philematology relates to kissing, while psychophysiology looks at mental phenomena. The study of laughter, or gelotology, is a formal scientific area of study.
psychophysiology

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Which of the following is a fair representation of the relationship between laughing and exercise?
laughing once = 15 minutes of exercise on a bike
laughing 10 times = 15 minutes of exercise on a bike
laughing 100 times = 15 minutes of exercise on a bike
Laughing is good exercise, but it takes laughing 100 times to equal 15 minutes of exercise on a bike. That's a lot of giggles, so think twice before giving up your workout regimen just yet.

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Is it true that laughter is contagious?
yes
It's not airborne, but it's certainly contagious by sound. Research has shown that test subjects who simply heard laughter usually smiled or started laughing themselves.
no
It depends on the strength of your immune system.

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Humor varies among people, but what is one of the larger factors that accounts for this difference?
education
geographic area
age
Education and where you live may influence what you think is funny, but differences in age take the cake. What's funny to a kindergartner and a teenager is as different as night and day.

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People who frequently laugh:
live longer
can block stress better
Laughers benefit, to be sure, but researchers are unsure of whether laughing affects longevity. However, laughter is known to block stress. Some even consider it an effective form of therapy.
aren't any better off than people who don't laugh

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Which movie popularized the use of humor as a way to treat illness?
'Critical Care'
'John Q'
'Patch Adams'
Dr. Hunter "Patch" Adams was known for clowning around throughout hospitals to entertain and comfort patients. Played by Robin Williams in the 1998 film "Patch Adams," his preference for laughter drove him to open the Gesundheit! Institute to treat people with various illnesses.

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What is the punctuation effect?
when people laugh at the same time
when people tend to laugh during natural pauses in speech
Similar to using punctuation during natural pauses in speech, the punctuation effect occurs when people laugh during natural breaks in conversation.
when one person laughs and everyone else stops talking

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Scientists have successfully pinpointed laughter in which region of the brain?
the frontal lobe
the limbic system
Research has found that brain activity during laughter expands across multiple regions of the brain.
Unlike emotion, laughter spans across several regions in the brain. Researchers are coming closer to understanding how this neurological sequence of actions leads to our chuckles.

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People use the phrase "I almost died laughing" to express the hilarity of a certain situation. The reality is:
that no one has died while laughing (at least that we know of)
that laughing is a common cause of death
that a few people are reported to have died while laughing
There are a few cases of people dying while laughing, but it's uncertain whether the action itself was the cause of death.

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Which of the following is NOT a synonym for laughter?
mirth
ennui
Someone with "ennui" is bored. But "mirth" and "guffaw," on the other hand, are laughter-related.
guffaw

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Which of the following animal species is NOT known for its "laughterlike" vocalizations?
giraffes
Though you won't hear giraffes giggle, you may miss the sounds they do make at low frequencies hard for us to hear.
kookaburras
hyenas

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Though laughter spans across the brain, researchers found that one portion evoked loud and uncontrollable laughter. Which part is it?
the corpus callosum
the amygdala
the hypothalamus
The hypothalamus is the part responsible here. Funny enough, some scientists have even suggested a link between the "urge to laugh" and lesions on the hypothalamus.

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After a hearty laugh, you sometimes cough or hiccup. What are the advantages of these actions?
They can clear up headaches.
They can dislodge excess mucus.
Having coughs or hiccups is normal after laughing, plus the actions help dislodge any excess mucus you may have in your throat or lungs.
There are no advantages to coughing or hiccupping.

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On average, when do babies start to laugh?
after a baby's first smile
usually at around 2 months of age
Both are true.
Some babies may begin earlier, but most usually start laughing after their first smile -- a new behavior to 2-month-olds.

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Which character from the TV show "The Simpsons" is known for his two-syllable, blunt laugh?
Nelson Muntz
Perhaps one of the most literal laughs on TV, Nelson's laugh, denoted by "ha ha," is a trademark of the character.
Ned Flanders
Bart Simpson

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You Got:
/20
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