Most People Can Identify Fake Laughter Think you can spot the difference between fake laughter and the real thing? It appears that the ability to correctly identify real laughter transcends language and culture, according to research from UCLA and many international institutions. The research team’s analysis, published in the journal Psychological Science, spanned 21 societies across ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   October 01, 2018
Most People Can Identify Fake Laughter
Author Notes
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Professional Issues & Training / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   October 01, 2018
Most People Can Identify Fake Laughter
The ASHA Leader, October 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.23102018.16
The ASHA Leader, October 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.23102018.16
Think you can spot the difference between fake laughter and the real thing? It appears that the ability to correctly identify real laughter transcends language and culture, according to research from UCLA and many international institutions.
The research team’s analysis, published in the journal Psychological Science, spanned 21 societies across six world regions. In it, 884 participants (average age of 26.6) listened to 36 randomly presented, recorded samples of laughter and determined whether the laughter was real or fake. For the recordings, researchers instructed women to laugh without giving them a reason to laugh (fake). They also included recordings of women laughing naturally while talking to friends (real).

Irrespective of either language or culture, listeners differentiated between the two types of laughter with an accuracy of 56 percent to 69 percent.

Irrespective of language or culture, listeners differentiated between the two types of laughter with an accuracy of 56 percent to 69 percent (the overall rate of correct judgment was 64 percent, a performance significantly better than chance).
The researchers posit that humans are more likely to successfully identify forced laughter from spontaneous laughter because the two types originate from different vocal production systems and have distinct acoustic features.
“With your speech system, you can make a lot of different noises, including crying, or laughter or a pain shriek,” says Gregory Bryant, corresponding author and professor of communication at UCLA. “That’s where volitional laughter comes from. Fake laughter is going to sound more like speech, and real laughter is not going to sound as much like speech.”
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
October 2018
Volume 23, Issue 10