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[personal profile] psy

Fun examples: Flash mob (see above); the "wave" at sports arenas; inserted laughter on sitcoms; money in a tip jar.
Not-so-fun example: "Mass Psychogenic Illness" (Timothy F. Jones, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine).

Flash Mobs: Have you ever participated in one?  How did you feel before, during, and after the event?
The "Wave": Have you ever resisted participating in the "wave"?  How do you feel when your friends don't join in with you?
Inserted Laughter: Do you feel that this causes the audience to enjoy the episode even more than they normally would?  Or do you feel that this is merely a manipulation of your emotions, and an annoyance/distraction from the plot?
Tip Jar: Likewise, how do you feel when you see several $20 bills sitting in a tip jar?  Do you feel more inclined to tip the waiter/waitress?  Or do you feel that this is a dishonest attempt at guilt-tripping customers into giving more tips?
 Psychogenic Illness: Can you recall any incidences of this in your life?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-20 08:43 am (UTC)
feast: The sea. (Default)
From: [personal profile] feast
Heya Silv! Thanks v. much for the invitation :) (Delf, by the way-- decided to try something which wasn't delPigeon for once!)

Anyway, on the point of inserted laughter, I was actually thinking about this relatively recently. To avoid 24/7 revision I started watching an episode of Blackadder every time I had a break... mostly because they're hilarious, but also because they're exactly 30 minutes long almost to the second xD So I watched Series 1, 2, 3 and 4, and I don't know if you've seen it or not, but it's absolutely and utterly hilarious. I've watched all of it several times over and it really is the only thing I've ever watched which still makes me crack up repeat after repeat after repeat. Otherwise I'm not really into watching things over and over xP Anyway, I picked up the final CD in my box set which is BlackAdder Back & Forth, and is more or less a very modern version they redid relatively recently to sort-of round the story off, using all the same actors, just much older. All in all I was kind-of quite disappointed with it. It was funny, but actually not anywhere near as funny as the originals, and I couldn't work out if it was just that the jokes had become lame (but then they're not lame when I watch them usually xD), the acting had got worse, the story was badly written or if I was just annoyed that they had ever dare rewrite the great Blackadder to try and make some money, because that show is verging on sacred, as comedies go xP
Eventually I figured out what at least part of it was -- the laughter track! See anything I don't personally find that funny, the audience all laughed at. Then I laughed at the bits I found funny and it generated an atmosphere of hilarity all the way through :P In reality there are actually several jokes I'm not all that fond of, and suddenly, without the laughter track, I spotted them and was irritated by them rather than sort-of mildly amused.

Obviously there were other factors too (I don't think it was the best scripting/storyline/character development), but I really do think the laughter track had quite a big effect on how I experienced watching the whole thing xP If it's a manipulation of my emotions (and it is) it's very enjoyable, provided it's not overdone.

As for the tip jar thing, on a personal gripe, we don't get that here any more. We get given that weird little credit card machine when we pay and question #1 is "Would you like to leave a service tip?" "Yes" "No". I wouldn't find this irritating only the waiter is always hovering at your shoulder as this bit comes up, and it doesn't half make you feel evil when you check no xP I actually find it more offputting. Besides, most waiters round here suck. I do leave a tip if it's been good-- fortunately for my bank account, this is relatively rare!

& who could resist a wave? xD Unless you're in a seriously massive crowd, everybody would condemn you for nonparticipation, and who wants that on their head? :P Not engaging in social activities like that is like the ultimate miserliness because it doesn't cost you anything-- so it's pretty condeming of other people to say they (and the event, atmosphere etc.) are not even worth the effort of standing up. Tut-tut xP

Back to revision now xD But I thought I'd speak in favour of laughter tracks. They take things from being mildly funny to laugh-out-loud funny, like a giant emotional amplifier. Sehr gut!

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