Researchers at the University of Baltimore, USA, explored how laughter with friends is different from laughter with romantic partners. The study is published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.
In order to understand the science of laughter, the researchers conducted a series of experiments. Participants were asked to listen to segments of laughter, identify the conversational partner, and differentiate the laughs directed at friends or romantic partners.
The results claimed that laughter reveals relationship status. It was found that spontaneous and volitional laughter were voiced using distinct production systems, and perceivers relied upon these system-related cues to make accurate judgments about relationship status.
For instance, friendship laughter came across as more spontaneous, louder, and less vulnerable than prototypical romantic laughter.
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Farley, S. D., Carson, D., & Hughes, S. M. (2022). Just seconds of Laughter reveals relationship status: Laughter with friends sounds more authentic and less vulnerable than Laughter with romantic partners. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-022-00406-5