Psychologists think they've identified the "world's funniest joke". Let's see if you think so too. Here it is:
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says, "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence; then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, "OK, now what?"
Whatever you may think of this joke, it's especially funny to hunters. Why might other people not find this so funny? Well, one thing about humor psychologists have identified is this: we think jokes are really funny when they are about topics that we're really anxious about ourselves.
Don't believe it? We've got an activity for you I think you're going to like. You'll read two jokes and you'll be asked to indicate how funny you think they are. Then we'll look at the data.
NOTE: in addition to being a very fun exercise, you may use the activity to teach your students about research methods used in psychology.