IMMEDIATE EFFECT OF LAUGHTER ON PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS RESPONSES IN COLLEGE-AGES MALES
Mental and physiological stress can be detrimental to an individual’s health and well-being. On the other hand, laughter has many positive effects on the immune system, such as improving coping and lowering anxiety, which could potentially counteract the negative effects that accompany stress. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if laughter as an intervention before a stressful situation decreased perceived and physiological stress responses. METHODS: Nineteen males from Gonzaga University participated in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to a control or experimental group. The control group watched a boring video, and the experimental group watched a humorous video. For all tests, subjects watched the assigned video then participated in a modified Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). This consisted of a mental math challenge and an impromptu speech. Electrodermal activity (EDA), heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured throughout the experiment, and a Likert perceived stress test was performed at four different times during the experiment. Data were analyzed for a five min time period before the video (BV), after the video (AV), and after the speech (AS) for all variables. RESULTS: There were no significant (p<0.05) differences in SBP, DBP, HR and EDA between the control and experimental groups. However, self-reported stress scores showed a decrease in perceived stress from BV to AV, but an increase from BV to AS for both groups. CONCLUSION: A laughter intervention before a stressful event does not decrease the perceived physiological stress response.
Newman, S; Hashimoto, K; Jarvie, R; Lane, K; Orr, M; Townsend, E; White, D; and McCann, D
"IMMEDIATE EFFECT OF LAUGHTER ON PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS RESPONSES IN COLLEGE-AGES MALES,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8:
3, Article 37.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss3/37