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Laughter Research


  • Dr. Michael Titze
    Dear Dr. Titze has there been any research into how many times a day children laugh?

    In 1983 Josef Scheppach started a fine article dealing with the phenomenon of laughter with these words: "It's really not ridiculous: We Germans lose our humor! We laugh only 6 minutes a day. 40 years ago it was, anyhow, 18 minutes ‑ in a time which has been in every respect less funny!" This has been published in P.M. a (popular) scientific magazine.

    In a book dealing with humor in psychotherapy (published in 1985) I mentioned this statement of Scheppach in a short sentence. In the following years a countless number of journalists cited my quotation of Scheppach's statement. Eventually, even the London Times published it.

    Since 1996 1 have organized conducted several international congresses dealing with therapeutic humor in Switzerland and Germany. 1998, on the occasion of a panel in which participated, among others, William Fry and Patch Adams someone said that children laugh 400 times a day and adults only 17 times. Because I was moderating this panel, journalists implied that I was the origin of this statistical statement!
    On the other hand, I am convinced that in our postmodern time the situation for everyday man is developing increasingly confusing (cf. Oliver James: Britain on the Couch). People seem to less appreciate a good humor. At least in Central Europe they enjoy more and more sarcastic forms (derisive forms of humor, schadenfreude). This, again, has lead to a specific fear of laughter which I have called "gelotophobia" (cf. search engines).

  • Laughter the Best Medicine video with Meredith Vieira "Thanks to the Big Apple Circus, I had the chance to be a clown doctor for the day, visiting sick children at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York." The Clown Care program has been operating for 20 years – they hire professional performers who cheer up acutely and chronically ill children in 18 pediatric hospitals across the country. Each year they visit some 250,000 kids.
  • Laughter is examined by Dr. P.M. Forni, Johns Hopkins University in The Other Side of Civility
  • Laugh Out Loud Study Finds Laughter Improves Relationships  article by Heather Sanders

    Bazzini, D. G., Stack, E. P., Martinicin, P. D., & Davis, C. (in press).  “Remember when we...?”: The effects of reminiscing about laughter on relationship satisfaction.  Motivation and Emotion.

  • With great joy Global Belly Laugh Day, January 24 officially joins the 2007 (50th edition) age 98 of Chase's Calendar of Events published by the McGraw-Hill Corporation.
  • Smiling Makes You Happy from Bob Sutton Work Matters 
  • The Effect of Mood on Work Performance  Wharton & Ohio State University
     "Most importantly, they discovered, the mood you bring with you to work has a stronger effect on the day's mood -- and on work performance -- than mood changes caused by events in the workplace."
  • Laugh and the Whole World Laughs with You:Why the Brain Just Can't Help Itself
    "This response in the brain, automatically priming us to smile or laugh, provides away of mirroring behavior of others, something that helps us interact socially. It could play an important role in building strong bonds between individuals
    in a group."
  • Men's Health Magazine January 2007 pg 148 Stand out at work. Of course you already put in time, hit your deadlines, dress like a pro, and share your expertise. Right? Then there's just one more thing left to do: SMILE
  • On page 209 in Everything You Know to Feel Go(o)d Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. writes, "(Jaak) Pankesepp concluded that laughter is a psychological birthright of the human
    brain, the evolutionary antecedent of human joy..." "Play and laughter are vital to feeling good. ... For you not to be playing and laughing during some part of every day is unnatural and goes against fundamental biochemistry."
  • The UK Laughter Network answers the question what is laughter, why is laughter healthy?
  • Good Morning America introduces the 10th anniversary Tickle Me Elmo, T.M.X. Elmo View video
  • The Today Show explores happiness. View video
    Video begins seconds after advertisement.
  • Laughter May Be the Best Medicine
    This study examined the effect of laughter, as an expression of positive emotion, in terms of gene expression changes.
    Read about the research on Discovery
  • Real Age® Live Life to the Youngest®
    For personalized recommendations,
    take the RealAge test.
    From Real Age® top 12 Grow Younger® strategies designed to make your RealAge younger
    11. Laugh a Lot

    Laughter reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, and can make your RealAge® as much as 8 years younger.
  • 2006 President Thomas Jefferson smiles on the USA nickel.January 13, 2006 mints in Philadelphia and Denver began
    shipping nickels with the front view of a smiling Thomas Jefferson."It isn't a silly smile or a smirk, but a sense of optimism that I was trying to convey with the expression," says Jamie Franki, an associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
  • Harvard Business Review
    Special Issue January, 2006 Decision Making

    The history of decision making is long, rich and diverse.
    page 38 The Magic 8 Ball, marketed by the Alabe Crafts Company
    of Cincinnati in 1946 is recognized in the decision making
    time line.
  • South Korea's New Economic Plan Starts With a Laugh
    by Choe Sang-Hun
    Some people consider laughter a business skill that is necessary as customers demand better service.
    New York Times published 12/30/2005
  • Time Magazine Special Issue 12/5/2005
    The Year in Medicine From A to Z
    Jeffrey Kluger
    Sara Song, Alice Park, Coco Master
    L is for Laughter
    "Remember the last time you laughed so hard you could not stop? Good. Do it again....With laughter blood flow increased 22%, under stress (blood flow) decreased 35%.
    At the end of techniques being tried and new initiatives
    being launched, our (health) tools are better than ever.
    Now we must learn to put them to good use."
  • A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age
    by Daniel H. Pink
    "How to survive, thrive and find meaning in an automated,
    outsourced, upside down world.
    To develop the "sense of play" Dan explore's laughter yoga.
  • Healthy Aging : A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being
    by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. 
    "Your thoughts, emotions, and attitudes are key determinants on how you age....Laughter may indeed be the best medicine and like optimism it can be learned."
    includes a discussion of laughter yoga page 219
  • For the first time, researchers have found that laughter causes the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, to dilate. This increases blood flow which, of course, is good for overall cardiovascular health.The message is clear, and economical.
    "I think it would be reasonable for everybody to loosen up, and spend about 15 to 20 minutes a day laughing," said lead researcher
    Dr. Michael Miller, M.D. Director of Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
    Research Paper

  • YOU: The Owner's Manual : An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger
    by Michael F. Roizen, M.D.,  Mehmet Oz, M.D. 
    "Laughter and meditation are the two best stress relievers."
  • Laughing School Opens in Berlin, Germany
    02:00 AM Jun. 24, 2005 PT A gaggle of Germans are laughing their troubles away, thanks to a new "laughter school" in Berlin that educates its students on the fine points of the guffaw. "We Germans aren't very easygoing and loose," therapist Susanne Maier told Der Spiegel magazine.
    "We've got to laugh before we make ourselves sick."

  • Malcolm Gladwell writes in Blink pages 206, "Ekman said, "What we discovered is that expression alone is sufficient to create marked changes in the autonomic nervous system."
  • 5 Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help you Stay Calm & Focused All Day Long.
    by Jeff Brantley M.D. & Wendy Millstine New Harbinger Publisher
    Summary Redbook June 2005
    5 Minute Secrets to a Happier Day ( page 80)
    "If you are feeling cranky... remember a time you could not stop laughing, and really focus on it until you get the giggles...
    Laughter in and of itself feels good glorious and will help you see the lightness in your life."


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