BERN (Dispatches) -- People who laugh frequently in their everyday lives may be better equipped to deal with stressful events - although this does not seem to apply to the intensity of laughter.
It is estimated that people typically laugh 18 times a day -- generally during interactions with other people and depending on the degree of pleasure they experience. Researchers have also reported differences related to time of day, age, and gender -- for example, it is known that women smile more than men on average. Now, researchers from the Division of Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology of the Department of Psychology at the University of Basel have recently conducted a study on the relationship between stressful events and laughter in terms of perceived stress in everyday life.
The first result of the observational study was expected based on the specialist literature: in phases in which the subjects laughed frequently, stressful events were associated with more minor symptoms of subjective stress. However, the second finding was unexpected. When it came to the interplay between stressful events and intensity of laughter (strong, medium or weak), there was no statistical correlation with stress symptoms. "This could be because people are better at estimating the frequency of their laughter, rather than its intensity, over the last few hours,” says the research team.