Amusement, from the old French à muser – to put into a stupid stare, is the state of experiencing humorous and entertaining events or situations while the person or animal actively maintains the experience , and is associated with enjoyment, happiness , laughter and pleasure. It is an emotion with positive valence and high physiological arousal.
Amusement is considered an "epistemological" emotionbecause humor occurs when one experiences a cognitive shift from one knowledge structure about a target to another, such as hearing the punchline of a joke . The pleasant surprise that happens from learning this new information leads to a state of amusement which people often express through smiling, laughter or chuckling.
Current studies have not yet reached consensus on the exact purpose of amusement, though theories have been advanced in the fields of psychology , psychiatry and sociology . In addition, the precise mechanism that causes a given element ( image , sound , behavior , etc.) to be perceived as more or less 'amusing' than another, similar element to a particular individual is not clearly understood.