Full Text PDF | awareness, emotional distress, emotional regulation, laughter, perspective taking.
At a biological level, laughter was found to help in dealing with pain and suffering. From a psychological perspective, its effects have been studied both at intrapersonal and interpersonal levels. At an intrapersonal level, laughter contributes to self-regulating emotions (especially lowering the trait anxiety), diminishing the expression of anger, internally or externally, the same time with increasing self-acceptance. At interpersonal level, laughing together builds trust, while being laughed at may be traumatic. In the present study, the objective was to investigate the effects of laughter on empathy, awareness, and acceptance of personal experience. The participants in the study, all women, watched a situational comedy for 1.5 hours, with different life situations which may seem negative, but presented in an amusing manner, and, very important, with a happy end. At the end, they completed the empathy and awareness questionnaires. Statistical analysis, comparing their scores with those in a non-treatment condition, showed that laughing at the situational comedy significantly influenced almost all aspects of empathy, significantly decreasing the personal distress from empathizing with others, but also sensitivity and emotional interest towards them, without significant influence on awareness and acceptance of personal experience.
Cite this paper: Răban-Motounu, N. (2021). LAUGHTER AND EMPATHY. Current Trends in Natural Sciences, 10(20), 192-202. https://doi.org/10.47068/ctns.2021.v10i20.026