“Secretly in Love? Be Careful, Your Laugh May Give You Away!”
Sorry, but your laugh gets more unpleasant… (Picture: Getty Images/Westend61)
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of falling in love.
You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, and, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stop thinking about them.
In fact, your body goes through a lot of weird changes in those early heady days of romance: you have more dopamine, your heart rate sychronises with theirs, and you even feel less pain.
And now, scientists have determined yet another sign that shows you’re crushing hard.
Research has revealed that other people can hear the love in your laughter.
Sounds cute, right? Well, not exactly.
The team at the University of Baltimore found that people could distinguish between the ‘pleasant-sounding’ laugh between friends and the ‘more baby-like, more submissive’ laugh of those in early romances. Ouch.
Granted, the researchers’ descriptions don’t sound great, but lead author, Professor Sally Farley, explained that in the early stages of love and dating, people are unsure about their future of their new relationship – and that this ‘leaks out’ in their laughter.
It’s like a nervous laugh – you’re not quite sure how it’s all going to pan out.
The study, published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour, asked people to listen to audio clips of men and women who on the phone to a friend or a romantic partner of less than one year.
Listeners were able to differentiate, within a few seconds, between the laughter of friends and of romantic partners.
Professor Farley said: ‘[People] don’t sound as pleasant when they’re laughing with their romantic partner as when they are laughing with their friend.
‘We’re basically engaging in speech modulation even with regard to how our laugh sounds in early-stage romantic love, meaning you’re still modulating your voice, and that extends to laughter.
‘This research is important because it underscores that laughter is more nuanced, variable, complex and socially important than most people believe.’
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