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Psychology EE on Laugher, is that too ambitious?

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Well I've gone through about 4 general psych books now and from what I've learned laughter seems to relate more to behavior. One book said that speakers did more laughing than listeners did and that the majority of laughter was a response to conventional statements, like “see you later.” It also said that these findings support the idea that laughter evolved to help bonding among humans. This was all I found relating specifically to laughter.

Judging by this study and from other information I’ve found about psychology, laughter appears to me to be a behavioral reflex (if such a thing exists) in many cases. For example if someone laughs after saying “see you later” they don’t process the action in depth and it is more like an automatic action. Also babies start to laugh at about 3 months of age, indicating it is a behavior they learned because it somehow benefited them. Of course, I still need to do a lot more research because that’s just my own idea. I think looking more at behavioral studies will get me a lot more information than looking at textbooks. I may not want to change my question to the “evolution of laughter” but I do think I should focus more on behavior. I’m also not sure if I want to focus more on laughter specifically in the US or if I want to examine universal behavioral characteristics of laughter. Either way I know the question needs some adjustment.

Then I found a book that talked about the role of laughter in social situations like how it could be a display of submissiveness and other social implication about how women laugh more than men do. After going through the EE guide, I am just not sure if this works anymore. IB seems to want something with an aspect of debate. But this subject is so cool. And I know there is a bunch of behavioral studies out there. I've seen them on the internet but haven't found a way to access them yet. I just don't know how to make this work.

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Hello :)

I think that your EE is way to broad :P A rule of thumb is: if you can write an actual book on it, or FIND a book about almost the same topic already, your question is still too large. How will you be able to touch on every single aspect and detail in merely 4 000 words? You just can't do the same depth of analysis with such a "big" topic :)

- How about adding a boundary (like in history), such as age? Maybe only study cases of young adults, or the elderly.

- Gender?

- behaviour: the way a female laughs while talking to the opposite sex?

- the psychological effect of religion

I'm a little tired, at the moment, but when I think of something else, I'll be sure to edit this post :)

I hope this helps, even if it's just a little bit :)

Edited by egr12resa

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I see. Thank you! I knew it was going to need some changes when I first came up with my question. I'm just worried that, because laughter hasn't been a popular study, putting in a boundary might make it impossible to find enough support. I also worry about keeping this under psychology. Maybe the use of laughter as a social strategy? I'd love to just think this over for a couple of days, maybe even piano some studies, but I'm trying to at least have a first draft by the end of the summer and I'm going to Nepal for 3 weeks then middle of nowhere Michigan for another 3 weeks. Maybe what is ambitious about this is my goal.

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I see. Thank you! I knew it was going to need some changes when I first came up with my question. I'm just worried that, because laughter hasn't been a popular study, putting in a boundary might make it impossible to find enough support. I also worry about keeping this under psychology. Maybe the use of laughter as a social strategy? I'd love to just think this over for a couple of days, maybe even piano some studies, but I'm trying to at least have a first draft by the end of the summer and I'm going to Nepal for 3 weeks then middle of nowhere Michigan for another 3 weeks. Maybe what is ambitious about this is my goal.

I like that :) "The use of laughter as a social strategy". Bring it up with your EE coordinator/advisor. I think that you'll be able to find a few articles about laughter somewhere, and your psychology teacher should be a good resource. Maybe look into something like "The use of laughter as a social stategy in TEENS" or something of that sort? It's targeted to a group of people, now.

And that's also a big problem. Sometimes, our EE questions, or paper for that matter, does not fit nicely into one of the AOKs (Areas of Knowledge). I am doing my EE in music, and my original question was more leaned towards biology :( And biology is not even taught at my school, so I cannot do it in that course unfortunately :( So make sure that you reflect upon your question now and then, and see in what direction you are headed. Also, it is very common that you will tweak your question around to mold with what you find out there for your sources, and what approach you took for your paper.

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