Thank you very much for taking the time to visit my Laughter Research website – the new home for the Laughter Research Podcast™ . My name is Glen Duggan and I live in Dublin, Ireland. Having worked in a variety of fields, from sales, to management of corporate entertainment and freelance journalism in between, I discovered that my true interest is in why it is that people do what they do. Sometime around 2007, I was introduced to the wonderful world of iTunes podcasts. Thanks to many universities providing free content, in the form of full academic lectures, I began soaking up years worth of educational podcasts and I discovered that my true passion was for psychology.
I was hooked, so I studied for a B.Sc. in Psychology with the Open University, After which I completed a M.Sc. in Applied Psychology in Trinity College, Dublin. I’m currently working on writing up my PhD research in T.C.D. – A Grounded Theory of Laughter.
Alongside my studies, I’ve gained some invaluable experiences in fields related to psychology, working as a depression support group facilitator with Aware. I also worked as a researcher on a joint collaboration project between the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and Headway (Brain Injury & Support Service), under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Balsters. I also spent some time volunteering in Merchant’s Quay Homeless and Drugs Services. Some of these roles were particularly challenging, but each of them taught me such a great deal, both personally and professionally.
Whilst this work has been invaluable to my academic and experiential development, I was always acutely aware throughout this period that there was an additional aspect to psychology which had drawn me to the field – that aspect being the social nature of human psychology. As the human experience can be intensely challenging and so many people suffer a great deal psychologically, it becomes all too easy to trivialise as unimportant the positive aspects of human psychology and interactions.
With this in mind, I made the decision to work towards my Doctorate in Psychology by researching a topic which is somewhat removed from the topics of disorder and ill health often associated with psychology. I wanted to research a topic which is both academically fascinating and is dear to my heart – laughter. I was quite surprised to discover that while there are now many people studying laughter throughout the world, it is a field which is truly in its infancy, when compared to other areas of psychology, such as smiling or happiness.
Now, as my formal research is scheduled to draw to a close in 2015, I want to continue to move forward, but I also want to maintain my interest in laughter. I’ve decided to do this by creating a new, non academic, yet research based website, in which fun and education are bundled into one. I do hope that you enjoy joining me on this journey.