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Worthy of applause.

Byline: Andrew JACKSON

HAVE you ever given a standing ovation after some sort of performance? What about being the only person to clap? Or the last one left clapping? You may be interested to Know that applause is liKe the flu - contagious. According to scientists in Scandinavia it only taKes a couple of people to start clapping and we all feel we must join in. Conversely, if a pair of curmudgeons stop putting their hands together then it doesn't taKe long for everyone else to stop.

Lead author of the study Dr Richard Mann from the University of Uppsala said: "You can get quite different lengths of applause - even if you have the same quality of performance. This is purely coming form the dynamics of the people in the crowd.

"You have this social pressure to start (clapping), but once you've started there's an equally strong social pressure not to stop until someone initiates that stopping."

Clapping is also a cultural thing. In the USA you're much more liKely to get a standing ovation and whoops and cheers than you are in, say, Norway, where they prefer a constant level of applause.

Our German cousins appear to be trying to continue all the stereotypes about them with their method of applause. They count to five after a performance and then clap - but are some of the longest clappers in the world. But beware the slow hand clap. I'm sure Tony Blair remembers his encounter with the Women's Institute to this day.

But in Hungary the slow hand clap is Know as vastaps or the iron clap, so named because the audience is so impressed they continue to clap even after the iron fire-proof curtain is lowered. Which begs the question of why you need an iron fire-proof curtain?
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 23, 2013
Words:298
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