is glee memetic?

From: William Benzon (
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 22:13:00 BST

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     Child Dev 1975 Mar;46(1):53-61

    An ecological study of glee in small groups of preschool children.

    Sherman LW.

    A phenomenon called group glee was studied in videotpes of 596 formal
    lessons in a preschool. This was characterized by joyful screaming,
    laughing, and intense physical acts which occurred in simultaneous bursts or
    which spread in a contagious fashion from one child to another. A variety of
    precipitating factors were identified, the most prevalent being teacher
    requests for volunteers, unstructured lags in lessons, gross physical-motor
    actions, and cognitive incongruities. Distinctions between group glee and
    laughter were pointed out. While most events of glee did not disrupt the
    ongoing lesson, those which did tended to produce a protective reaction on
    the part of teachers. Group glee tended to occur most often in large groups
    (7-9 children) and in groups containing both sexes. The latter finding was
    related to Darwin's theory of differentiating vocal signals in animals and

    PMID: 1132281 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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