International Journal of Humor Research
Editor-in-Chief: Kuipers, Giselinde / Ford, Thomas E.
IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.467
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.574
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.507
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.535
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.603
The laughter of the 1962 Tanganyika ‘laughter epidemic’
Citation Information: Humor – International Journal of Humor Research. Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 49–71, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: 10.1515/HUMOR.2007.003, March 2007
- Published Online:
The present article discusses the role of laughter in the much cited ‘laughter epidemic’ that occurred in Tanganyika in 1962. Despite its extraordinary nature, the veracity of the event is confirmed, crucially on the basis of similar reports. But most current representations are flawed by their exaggeration and misinterpretation of the role of laughter in the event, relating it to a humorous stimulus, a virus or environmental contaminant, or identifying it as contagious laughter. It is argued that the event is a motor-variant case of mass psychogenic illness of which laughter is one common symptom. Therefore it cannot serve as support for other arguments in humor research.
Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.