ERIC Number: ED233267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Laughter on Discomfort Thresholds.
Cogan, Rosemary; Waltz, William
Pain is affected by a variety of motivational and affective variables, such as relaxation, social modeling, and social support. Norman Cousins has proposed that laughter is a particularly effective pain antagonist. To compare the effects of laughter on pain sensitivity with the effects of relaxation (a variable known to reduce pain sensitivty), male and female undergraduate students (N=42) participated in one of four groups: laughter, relaxation, narrative (a control for distraction), or no treatment control. Students listened to a 20 minute tape appropriate for their group, after which discomfort was induced and measured through inflation of a blood pressure cuff. Statistical analyses showed that discomfort thresholds of students in the laughter and relaxation groups were reliably higher than the thresholds of students in the control and narrative groups. Laughter was as effective as, or more effective than, relaxation in facilitating pain reduction. (WAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Laughter; Pain Tolerance
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association (29th, San Antonio, TX, April 21-23, 1983).