Now I talk a little bit about humor because people have chosen in the past to actually watch funny videos or to listen to the comedy channel on Pandora while they're walking to class or what have you. These are actually questions from a humor self-report questionnaire where you're simply given true/false questionnaire, does humor help you cope? Yes, no, humor is a lousy coping mechanism, whatever and so the idea with this questionnaire is to basically give people- to categorize people into whether or not they use humor as a coping strategy. You're smirking. I know you would use [LAUGH] humor as a coping strategy. Margaret has an excellent sense of humor too. But people vary in the extent to which they use humor and find it to be something that is helpful for them and there's actually research that is related to this. Why is this at all relevant because there's been research actually looking at the extent to which positive affect in the form of humorous or kind of like very warm positive emotion influences a stress response, an acute stress response. So in this set of experiments, they had people come into a lab, showed them a series of films and the experimental manipulation was either a very funny film or a very kind of warm, fuzzy feeling that, kind of like [SOUND]. They took the data to ensure that actually yes, people did report, yes, this made me feel good. This is a nice positive film. Versus a negative one, one that was pretty depressing or pretty sour and then they expose people to a stressful situation, namely making them stand up in front of a large group of people and give a speech extemporaneously. Most people find that to be a pretty high stress situation. And then they measured the stress response and what we see here is that in the positive response, the stress, the positive film is demonstrated in the red bar. Those who were exposed to the negative film, those are in the blue bar. And so what you can see is that the stress response is represented on the y-axis there was actually buffered, it was attenuated for those in the positive condition. And there was a greater recovery, a faster recovery from that but with a simple manipulation being the people watched a happy film as opposed to a sad or negative film, now- >> What does the x-axis say? >> The X, that's just time. >> It's just time- >> So yeah, so it starts out at baseline as time one, great question. >> [LAUGH] >> And then the little tick in between is when they had to do the stressful response, that's right at the elevated and response is actually measured through a series of psychophys outcomes. So it's things like get galvanic skin response, how much people are sweating, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure are the typical ways that you're able to measure [SOUND] acute reactions to stress and we're all really sensitive to that. So I used to be actually the teaching fellow for a psychophysiology class and without fail, you could set somebody up to all the stuff and get them ready and and then, try to say, are you nervous, are you nervous? >> [LAUGH] >> And try to make them lie and do card tricks or whatever, but without fail, the thing that got everything to spike as much as possible was the professor walking up and putting- >> [LAUGH] >> His hand on their shoulder and they'd be like, [SOUND] [LAUGH] so, it's kind of funny. People don't like professors touching them I've learned. >> [SOUND] [LAUGH] >> Unwanted touching is generally unwanted. [LAUGH] >> Exactly, pretty funny. Now they also do it the other way, where starting out with the stressful situation and then showing people the film clips. And then looking at the stress response and what you actually found here was that there was a kind of a recovery effect. So this, the top banner is that there's like a buffer effect, but there's also a recovery effect. So after the fact, it's possible to assist with the stress response by the presentation of positive stimuli and that's actually better than both neutral and sad. So you can see that sad is actually the worst. Neutral is kind of in the middle but really funny stuff helps the most or even content and kind of general positive stuff. >> So you're saying if we lead stressful lives, we should watch comedy shows or funny TV shows. >> Or something that just gives you an emotional positive response, so it doesn't necessarily have to be funny. It can be kind of warm fuzzy, read the good news network for example where you see things of like acts of altruism and baskets of kittens. I mean, you all know this, I really like cats. >> [LAUGH] >> So everyone else knows, guess I'm pretty public- >> [LAUGH] >> About it. So, I only have the one. >> Cats are great. >> I know, I like them too, so. >> Someone brought up an interesting paradox kind of last year with I think they mentioned Robin Williams is an example of funny people and how they have kind of like downward falls and- >> Yeah, yeah, someone did ask that question about whether or not there's any research to the- it's kind of like a common knowledge or maybe perhaps a folklore really more like because we did some digging and we didn't find evidence for it. It was more anecdotal that kind of the funniest people are actually working to cover up a lot of pain and I've heard that a lot, that humor is known to be one of the most adaptive of the coping mechanisms. The variety of coping mechanisms, whether or not funny people have actually experienced greater degrees of pain has yet to be determined from the literature at least as far as our digging could determine. So, unknown as to whether or not that's a myth. I think that funny people probably experience a range of emotions like non funny people do but I don't know, I've always invited people to kind of figure out if there's any truth to that. We could certainly design a study around it. >> That would be cool. >> That would be cool. >> Are sad clowns really sad? [LAUGH] >> Exactly, Tears of a Clown. >> [LAUGH] >> I know, that's a really interesting question and we did try to look into that a little bit more but I think the answer is likely out there. Although null results tend not to get published as much but we'll see. I don't know, I'm going to dig into that again. If I find anything, I will post it for supplemental reading. Fun topic.