eli5 : why sometimes when we see people get hurt (e.g. : a friend slipped and fell down) it can be funny, but on the other time, we can feel bad/panic ?


i cannot sleep bcs trying to answer this

In: Other

I suppose it depends on the person and if we know them. If one of your friends does something stupid/crazy and gets hurt, we might laugh at them. My husband skates and all his skate friends are like this… unless someone is truly hurt, like when one of his buddies fell and got a concussion. They took him to the ER right away.

If it’s strangers I guess we react to it differently. I once saw an old lady fall trying to get on an elevator in a store. Several people ran to help her and she didn’t look hurt. We tend to think of kids and old people as more fragile, which they mostly are.

Nervous laughter is a physical reaction to stress, tension, confusion, or anxiety. … People laugh when they need to project dignity and control during times of stress and anxiety. In these situations, people usually laugh in a subconscious attempt to reduce stress and calm down, however, it often works otherwise. – wikipedia