Laughter in everyday life: an event-based experience sampling method study using wrist-worn wearables

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


Laughter is a universal, nonverbal vocal expression of broad significance for humans. Interestingly, rather little is known about how often we laugh and how laughter is associated with our personality. In a large, event-based, experience sampling method study (N = 52; k = 9,261 assessments) using wrist-worn wearables and a physical analogue scale, we analyzed belly laughs and fit of laughter events in participants' everyday life for 4 weeks. Additionally, we assessed associations with laughter frequency such as personality, happiness, life satisfaction, gelotophobia (i.e., fear of being laughed at), and cheerfulness. Validating our new measurement approach (i.e., wearables, physical analogue scale), laughter events elicited higher happiness ratings compared to reference assessments, as expected. On average, participants reported 2.5 belly laughs per day and on every fourth day a fit of laughter. As expected, participants who were happier and more satisfied with their life laughed more frequently than unhappier, unsatisfied participants. Women and younger participants laughed significantly more than men and older participants. Regarding personality, laughter frequency was positively associated with openness and conscientiousness. No significant association was found for gelotophobia, and results for cheerfulness and related concepts were mixed. By using state-of-the-art statistical methods (i.e., recurrent event regression) for the event-based, multi-level data on laughter, we could replicate past results on laughing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1296955
Pages (from-to)1296955
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


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