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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kai Alter
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Although laughter is important in human social interaction, its role as a communicative signal is poorly understood, Because laughter is expressed in various emotional contexts, the question arises as to whether different emotions are communicated. In the present study, participants had to appraise 4 types of laughter sounds (joy, tickling, taunting, schadenfreude) either by classifying them according to the underlying emotion or by rating them according to different emotional dimensions. The authors found that emotions in laughter (a) can be classified into different emotional categories, and (b) can have distinctive profiles on W. Wundt's (1905) emotional dimensions. This shows that laughter is a multifaceted social behavior that can adopt various emotional connotations. The findings support the postulated function of laughter in establishing group structure, whereby laughter is used either to include or to exclude individuals from group coherence.
Author(s): Szameitat DP, Alter K, Szameitat AJ, Darwin CJ, Wildgruber D, Dietrich S, Sterr A
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Date deposited: 10/05/2010
ISSN (print): 1528-3542
ISSN (electronic): 1931-1516
Publisher: American Psychological Association
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