Todd B. Kashdan, Jessica Yarbro, Patrick E. McKnight, John B. Nezlek

This study sought to test if laughing led to increases in social rewards. Results were gathered from 5510 face-to-face everyday social interactions with 162 people (68% women, 32% male) who completed a two-week daily diary study. Researchers found that:

  • Following an interaction where they laughed, Participants got a boost in subsequent interactions of increased Intimacy, positive emotions, and enjoyment
  • If a person interacted with someone while experiencing feelings of intimacy, positive emotions and enjoyment, this did not necessarily lead to laughter
  • Even taking into account the enjoyment that people feel when socializing, laughter still proved to give participants increased intimacy and positive emotions in the interactions that followed
  • Participants still reaped the benefits of laughter in following social interactions, even when those interactions weren’t with the same person
  • Laughing is an important tool for bonding