Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Psychologisches Institut » Persönlichkeitspsychologie und Diagnostik » Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch » Ruch

Completed research project

Title / Titel The duchenne display as a mediator between humor and pain tolerance
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Prior studies have shown that watching a funny film leads to an increase in pain tolerance that is sustained for at least half an hour. While an immediate increase in pain tolerance is non-specific (i.e., can also be found for negative emotions), the sustained effect can only be observed for the humor group. While this effect has been typically ascribed to variables associated with laughter (e.g., relaxation, distraction, release of endorphins, or “undoing” effects), results by Zweyer, Velker and Ruch (2004) actually point out that the Duchenne display (i.e., the joint contraction of the zygomatic major and orbicularis oculi muscles), rather than laughter, might be the mediator. This hypothesis will be tested in Studies using the cold pressor test before, immediately after, and half an hour after a funny film while overt behavior will videotaped and analyzed vie a fine grained technique for the assessment of facial expression.
Publications / Publikationen Zweyer, K, Velker, B. & Ruch, W. (2004) Do cheerfulness, exhilaration and humour production moderate pain tolerance? A FACS study. In R.A. Martin (Ed.), Sense of Humor and Health [special issue]. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 17, 67-84.

Wild, B, Rodden, F.A., Grodd, W & Ruch (2003). Neural correlates of laughter and humour. Brain, 126, 1-18. doi:10.1093/brain/awg226

Ruch, W. & Ekman, P. (2001). The expressive pattern of laughter. In A.W. Kaszniak (Ed.), Emotion, qualia, and consciousness. Word Scientific Publisher. Tokyo, 426-443.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe Duchenne disdplay, smiling, laughter, cheerfulness, enjoyment, pain tolerance
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch (Project Leader)
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Forschungskredit der Universität Zürich, No project-specific funding
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jul 2004 to Jul 2006