VIDEO-Per Relief Theory, laughter is a normal human response to a situation that is starkly incongruent with everyday life. This biological coping mechanism is well-documented and also an affect that simply mismatches to the narrative. It may explain why some psychologists classify humor as one of the “mature” defense mechanisms we invoke to guard ourselves against overwhelming anxiety (as compared to the “psychotic,” “immature,” and “neurotic” defense mechanisms). Being able to laugh at traumatic events in our own lives doesn’t cause us to ignore them, but instead seems to prepare us to endure them. Listen to Dr. Perrodin and learn more about what people really convey when they laugh within a tragic context.