Research shows that friends can be judged from a very short laugh

ByTodd F Niemand

It is said that the origin of "human laugh" dates back more than 20 million years ago, and nonhuman primates also have an emotional expression of smiling face. However, as a different feature from other primates, it has become clear that humans can listen to the voices smiling more than one person and judge their relationships.

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For most primates "laugh" is unconscious emotional expression as well as acts such as crying, yawning, crying, and laughing as a way to show that relationships between individuals are closely and strongly I will. However, human laughter is different from other primate's in that "you can laugh by laughing others' laugh at the scene where other people are laughing, or you can freely control your own laughter" Varies. In addition, human beings can develop pseudo laughter in addition to unconscious laughter by developing respiratory organs and vocal organs.

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Dr. Gregory Bryant, who is studying verbal communication at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted an experiment on whether it is possible to sense the difference by listening to genuine and fake laughter. The experiment is to listen to the laughter of two people for one second and to hit two friends or another. In collaboration with research groups in Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and the USA, Dr. Bryant gathered 966 subjects at 24 locations around the world, including industrial development areas, agricultural areas, hunting living areas and so on, It was carried out.

As a result of the experiment, the rate at which laughter could be distinguished was around 61%, which means that it was a remarkably high accuracy rate than Dr. Bryant expected. Among laughter, in particular 95% of the voices of "friends of women" were able to distinguish properly. Meanwhile, in the case of men, it is said that the laughter of others was heard like friends, different results from the laughter of women. Dr. Bryant said, "This result is due to the human thinking method that women can be relieved when they are near their friends."

In addition, Dr. Bryant investigated what kind of features of laughter the human judges as a friend or another person. Then it turned out that the laughter was short, and in the case of irregular rhythm instead of regular laugh, it tended to be judged as "laughter among friends". Furthermore, Americans can accurately distinguish between laughter of male friends rather than male others, and in Korea there is a high probability of hitting male others' laughter, contrary to the United States, etc. There is a difference in the judgment of laughter depending on the region It is also clear that there is.


Because humans are very social animals, Dr. Bryant speculates that how robust the relationship between humans is quickly measured using laughter. "Laughter is a common capability that all humans have and there are some useful effects for humans," Dr. Bryant suggests, "Is it possible to make more laughter among others' more convincing? "How much human relations do we need to build to be judged as friends' laughter?" "Is it necessary to some extent social experience in order for a child to listen to laughter and judge human relationships? , Or will human beings born in the future have the ability? "We are planning to conduct research on new questions.

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