The study, conducted by Professor Mark van Vugt, Charlie Hardy, Julie Stow and Professor Robin Dunbar (University of Liverpool), was designed to examine if laughter acts as a social lubricant by enhancing a sense of group identity among strangers.
For the study, participants watched a funny or serious video clip before playing an altruistic game with strangers. The study revealed that after watching the funny clip subjects who laughed a lot were more likely to give their money to strangers. Further research suggests that this may be due to the effects of laughter on endorphins (naturally produced neurotransmitters that improve people’s mood).
Professor van Vugt, a member of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Group Processes and an expert on human altruism and co-operation said: ‘This study may have important implications for the way charities or organisations could increase the level of received donations. For example, Comic Relief – which in itself is a worthy event supporting many great causes – demonstrates how laughter can have a tremendous effect on giving.’
Professor van Vugt also pointed out that humans may have evolved the capacity for laughter to quickly release positive emotions in order to facilitate group bonding – group living enabled our ancestors to cope better with a hostile environment.
‘From the perspective of increasing altruism in society,’ he said, ‘it is obvious that laughter deserves serious attention from both scientists and policy makers.’
The full results of the study – titled Laughter as Social Lubricant: A Biosocial Hypothesis about the Pro-social Functions of Laughter and Humour – are available at www.kent.ac.uk/psychology/department/people/van-vugtm/personal/publications/index.htm
Gary Hughes | alfa
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology