By Lois B. Morris for Allure magazine
It’s known that laughing along with someone makes both people feel more positive about each other, increasing feelings of closeness, attraction, and cooperation.
Now a study has found there is even more of a payoff after the moment is over. Todd B. Kashdan, an associate professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and his colleagues collected information from 162 volunteers about their interactions with others over two weeks. Those who experienced laughter with another person tended to feel “greater intimacy, positive emotions, and enjoyment” in encounters they had later that day with not only that person but also anyone else, the researchers found.
Interestingly, having good feelings for others in the first place did not necessarily make people more likely to laugh with them. Laughter may cause people to experience a rise in levels of the hormone oxytocin, which promotes social bonding, the researchers point out. “Our findings show that laughter benefits more than the person laughing,” they conclude.