Each individual makes use of several forms of laughter throughout their average day. Some of this laughter is instantaneous, emotional and innate, such as a response to a friend walking into a lamp post (termed Duchenne laughter) while some laughter outwardly appears to be natural, but is in fact a learned response, such as laughing at an incredibly unfunny joke told by your boss (termed non-Duchenne laughter).
Whatever the case, each type of laughter serves a specific function, or set of functions, depending upon the context. Indeed, laughter is a very complex behaviour, indicating to others much more sophisticated messages than the obvious 'I am happy'. Laughter also holds very different meanings for different people and laughter's occurrence isn't limited only to positive experiences (take derogatory laughter for example). Through my PhD research, I would like to learn more and to advance theory about these fascinating aspects of laughter. This website is one of the tools which will assist me in doing so.
The forum on this website serves dual purposes. Primarily, it is a space in which people from throughout the world can form an online community, in which they can have some fun by sharing with others their experiences of and beliefs about laughter. In addition, it is research tool. The chats, stories and conversations on the forum will all become valuable data in psychological research. This data will be gathered and analysed for recurrent themes, which will form the basis of the development of new theories or the progression of existing theories about laughter.
If you have an interest in discussing laughter and you would like to contribute to valuable research, then please consider signing up for participation in the research. I look forward to conversing with you online and perhaps even meeting with you if you would be more interested in taking part in face to face conversations in the School of Psychology, Trinity College, Dublin.
All the best to you,
B.Sc. Psych (Hons), M.Sc. Applied Psych
PhD Candidate, School of Psychology,
Trinity College, Dublin