Supplementary material from "Perception of group membership from spontaneous and volitional laughter"

Posted on 21.10.2021 - 02:51
Laughter is a ubiquitous social signal. Recent work has highlighted distinctions between spontaneous and volitional laughter, which differ in terms of both production mechanisms and perceptual features. Here, we test listeners' ability to infer group identity from volitional and spontaneous laughter, as well as the perceived positivity of these laughs across cultures. Dutch (n = 273) and Japanese (n = 131) participants listened to decontextualized laughter clips and judged (i) whether the laughing person was from their cultural in-group or an out-group; and (ii) whether they thought the laughter was produced spontaneously or volitionally. They also rated the positivity of each laughter clip. Using frequentist and Bayesian analyses, we show that listeners were able to infer group membership from both spontaneous and volitional laughter, and that performance was equivalent for both types of laughter. Spontaneous laughter was rated as more positive than volitional laughter across the two cultures, and in-group laughs were perceived as more positive than out-group laughs by Dutch but not Japanese listeners. Our results demonstrate that both spontaneous and volitional laughter can be used by listeners to infer laughers’ cultural group identity.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Voice modulation: from origin and mechanism to social impact (Part II)’.


Kamiloğlu, Roza G.; Tanaka, Akihiro; Scott, Sophie K.; Sauter, Disa A. (2021): Supplementary material from "Perception of group membership from spontaneous and volitional laughter". The Royal Society. Collection.
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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences


Roza G. Kamiloğlu
Akihiro Tanaka
Sophie K. Scott
Disa A. Sauter
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