>>Laughter Yoga: The Trouble With Research

Laughter Yoga: The Trouble With Research

Laughter Yoga is a very interesting phenomenon from a scientific perspective, because it’s so challenging to study in a rigorous way. There are various reasons for this, which I get into in greater detail in the podcast. I also delve into some of the existing research on the subject and I ask to what extent is the laughter aspect of Laughter Yoga the primary factor in promoting changes in people’s well-being?

During the episode I mention the difficulty which arises when one tries to define laughter and that I’ll provide a couple of funny definitions for laughter from some well known dictionaries. Here are three. The first two are funny because they offer a circular definition. The third one is just plain funny:

  1. Merriam Webster Dictionary: A sound of or as if of laughing
  2. The Free Dictionary by Farflex: The action of or noise produced by laughing
  3. Urban Dictionary: When a smile has an orgasm


Martin, R. A. (2002). Is Laughter the Best Medicine? Humor, Laughter, and Physical Health. Current Directions in Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 11(6), 216-220.

Shahidi, M., Mojtahed, A., Modabbernia, A., Mojtahed, M., Shafiabady, A., Delavar, A., & Honari, H. (2011). Laughter yoga versus group exercise program in elderly depressed women: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, 26(3), 322-327. doi: 10.1002/gps.2545

Wildgruber, D., Szameitat, D. P., Ethofer, T., Brück, C., Alter, K., Grodd, W., & Kreifelts, B. (2013). Different Types of Laughter Modulate Connectivity within Distinct Parts of the Laughter Perception Network. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e63441. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063441

2018-11-16T08:19:31+00:00Laughter Blog|

About the Author:

Glen Duggan lives in Dublin, Ireland. Having worked in a variety of fields, from sales, to management of corporate entertainment and freelance journalism in between, he discovered that his true interest is in why it is that people do what they do. He is currently working on writing up his PhD research in T.C.D. – A Grounded Theory of Laughter. Read more at http://laughterresearch.com/

One Comment

  1. Maximus February 24, 2016 at 3:54 am - Reply

    So insightful and interesting, really enjoyed listening to this and learning more about the science behind laughter. It’s still a wonderful mystery

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