If you’re in the market for a new relationship, you better get working on your comedic chops.
Science has revealed that making someone laugh is the easiest way to get them to open up to you. According to research, sharing laughs makes people more willing to tell others something personal about themselves, and without necessarily being aware that they are doing so.
So basically, telling a joke is the secret to finding out secrets.
And opening up to someone is the first step in building a relationship. After all, all that magic happens once the walls come crumbling down.
The study compared statements provided by 112 subjects who had previously watched one of three video clips that differed in the degree to which they inspired laughter and a positive response.
Subjects – students at England’s Oxford University who did not know each other – were divided into groups of four. The three different videos included a stand-up comedy routine by Michael McIntyre, a straightforward, factual golf instruction video, and a nature excerpt from the “Jungles” episode of the BBC’s Planet Earth series.
Both the levels of laughter and the subjects’ emotional state upon watching the video was then measured, and each group member also had to write a message to another in attempt to get to know him or her better.
Researchers found that participants were more willing to reveal intimate details about themselves and their lives after sharing laughter via the comedy routine than in the controlled condition. This is thanks to the to the release of a “happy hormone” endorphin.
It should be noted, that the disclosure intimacy effect was found only for the observers’ ratings of participants’ disclosures and was absent in the participants’ own ratings.
What this means is that the laughter increases people’s willingness to disclose, but that they may not necessarily be aware that they’re doing so.
So, if you want to fall in love but aren’t known for being the funniest person in the room, you could always opt or a comedy show or film on the first few dates.
Cover image from: tuningpp.com