Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Effect of Laughter during Supreme Court Arguments

Have you ever thought about laughter and its effect during Supreme Court oral arguments? If so, read Ryan A. Malphurs’, “People Did Sometimes Stick Things in my Underwear”
The Function of Laughter at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Apparently, many jokes before the Court have fallen flat! However, building on an earlier study by Jay Wexler who tracked the number of (laughter) notations, Malphurs studies the effect of laughter, not humor, during oral arguments and focuses on the impact the resulting laughter has on the communication environment of oral arguments.

Malphurs suggests that “laughter enables justices and lawyers to negotiate the institutional, social, and intellectual barriers that impede human communication.” Click here to read the entire article.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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