Laughter influences how well a joke is perceived.

Researchers from UCLA rated 40 cheesy jokes on a scale of 1 to 7, 1 being unamusing and 7 being hilarious. Then, a professional comedian recorded each joke twice: in the first recording, canned laughter followed the joke, and in the second, real laughter followed the joke. 

The researchers then tested both versions of each joke on participants. They found that the addition of laughter, both canned and real, made the jokes funnier and increased ratings. But real laughter led to the highest ratings. 

This study shows that both canned and real laughter can elevate humor. Remember this the next time you tell your favorite “dad joke.”


Qing, C., Chen, S., White, S. J., et al. (2019, July 22). Modulation of humor ratings of bad jokes by other people’s laughter. Current Biology. Retrieved from

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

Start a Relationship with An Exceptional Counselor

  • Skilled and caring professional counselors
  • Accepting all major and most insurances
  • High-touch customer service & premium benefits
  • Same- or next-day appointments
  • Ultra-flexible 23.5hr cancellations