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Differentiation of Emotions in Laughter at the Behavioral Level

Szameitat, Diana, P., Alter, Kai, Szameitat, André J., Darwin, Chris J., Wildgruber, Dirk, Dietrich, Susanne and Sterr, Annette (2009) Differentiation of Emotions in Laughter at the Behavioral Level Emotion, 9 (3). pp. 397-405.

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Although laughter is important in human social interaction, its role as a communicative signal is poorly understood. Because laughter is expressed in various emotional contexts, the question arises as to whether different emotions are communicated. In the present study, participants had to appraise 4 types of laughter sounds (joy, tickling, taunting, schadenfreude) either by classifying them according to the underlying emotion or by rating them according to different emotional dimensions. The authors found= that emotions in laughter (a) can be classified into different emotional categories, and (b) can have distinctive profiles on W. Wundt’s (1905) emotional dimensions. This shows that laughter is a multifaceted social behavior that can adopt various emotional connotations. The findings support the postulated function of laughter in establishing group structure, whereby laughter is used either to include or to exclude individuals from group coherence. Keywords: nonverbal communication, social interaction, emotion, laughter, tickling

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Szameitat, Diana, P.
Alter, Kai
Szameitat, André J.
Darwin, Chris J.
Wildgruber, Dirk
Dietrich, Susanne
Date : 2009
DOI : 10.1037/a0015692
Additional Information : © 2009 American Psychological Association
Depositing User : Annette Sterr
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 14:41
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:33

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