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The University of Salford Sound of Laughter project

Wilkie, I; Harrison, LA; Brennan, D; Briggs, HC; Battle, LWJ

The University of Salford Sound of Laughter project Thumbnail


D Brennan

HC Briggs

LWJ Battle


What follows is a report of the University of Salford’s Sound of Laughter Project (2018). This pilot study was set up as an initial attempt to ascertain whether it is possible to discern any meaning from the different laughter sounds that audiences might make during a stand-up comedy show. The experiment also aimed to discover whether comedians can recognise variations in the properties of laughter responses made during the act of public joking. Further, the study aimed to establish whether performers can discern these different audience laughter sounds in real time and use them as identifiable ‘cues’ to check the efficacy (or otherwise) of their comic communication. This combined report on the pilot study has been prepared by a group of researchers at the University of Salford, all of which were involved in different stages of the experiment and whose initials are appended to each relevant section of the report.

Keywords: Audience laughter; stand-up comedy; joking; psychoacoustics, audience response


Wilkie, I., Harrison, L., Brennan, D., Briggs, H., & Battle, L. (2019). The University of Salford Sound of Laughter project. Comedy Studies, 9(2), 245-257.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2019
Publication Date Jan 27, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 27, 2020
Journal Comedy Studies
Print ISSN 2040-610X
Electronic ISSN 2040-6118
Publisher Intellect
Volume 9
Issue 2
Pages 245-257
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs


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