Cultural perspectives on laughter and health

Chueh Chang, Hsin-Ping Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A review was conducted of recent scientific research results, both international and regional, on the relationship between laughter and health. The findings revealed conceptual differences due to variations in cultural traditions. The Western studies indicated that laughter could strengthen the immune system, enhance metabolic functions, reduce stress, and increase tolerance for pain. In contrast, studies based on traditional Chinese medicine indicated that laughter could be detrimental to physical and mental balance. These differences are also found in the definitions of "laughter" in the different cultures. In the West, the definition of laughter is entirely positive. The Chinese definition, however, refers to both positive and negative relationships between emotion and action. It was not until the 20th century that the Taiwanese began to have more positive attitudes toward laughter, although still with a reminder to not "overdo it." More research is needed on these drastically different opinions about laughter to shed light on the influence of cultural perspectives. The relationship between laughter and mental health should be further explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-291
Number of pages10
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Volume27
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug 1

Fingerprint

Laughter
Health
Chinese Traditional Medicine
Research
Immune System
Mental Health
Emotions
Pain

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{bab3b56b4bfb480680c009ae12905765,
title = "Cultural perspectives on laughter and health",
abstract = "A review was conducted of recent scientific research results, both international and regional, on the relationship between laughter and health. The findings revealed conceptual differences due to variations in cultural traditions. The Western studies indicated that laughter could strengthen the immune system, enhance metabolic functions, reduce stress, and increase tolerance for pain. In contrast, studies based on traditional Chinese medicine indicated that laughter could be detrimental to physical and mental balance. These differences are also found in the definitions of {"}laughter{"} in the different cultures. In the West, the definition of laughter is entirely positive. The Chinese definition, however, refers to both positive and negative relationships between emotion and action. It was not until the 20th century that the Taiwanese began to have more positive attitudes toward laughter, although still with a reminder to not {"}overdo it.{"} More research is needed on these drastically different opinions about laughter to shed light on the influence of cultural perspectives. The relationship between laughter and mental health should be further explored.",
author = "Chueh Chang and Hsin-Ping Hsu",
year = "2008",
month = "8",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "282--291",
journal = "Chinese Journal of Public Health",
issn = "1023-2141",
publisher = "Chinese Public Health Association of Taiwan",
number = "4",

}

Cultural perspectives on laughter and health. / Chang, Chueh; Hsu, Hsin-Ping.

In: Taiwan Journal of Public Health, Vol. 27, No. 4, 01.08.2008, p. 282-291.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cultural perspectives on laughter and health

AU - Chang, Chueh

AU - Hsu, Hsin-Ping

PY - 2008/8/1

Y1 - 2008/8/1

N2 - A review was conducted of recent scientific research results, both international and regional, on the relationship between laughter and health. The findings revealed conceptual differences due to variations in cultural traditions. The Western studies indicated that laughter could strengthen the immune system, enhance metabolic functions, reduce stress, and increase tolerance for pain. In contrast, studies based on traditional Chinese medicine indicated that laughter could be detrimental to physical and mental balance. These differences are also found in the definitions of "laughter" in the different cultures. In the West, the definition of laughter is entirely positive. The Chinese definition, however, refers to both positive and negative relationships between emotion and action. It was not until the 20th century that the Taiwanese began to have more positive attitudes toward laughter, although still with a reminder to not "overdo it." More research is needed on these drastically different opinions about laughter to shed light on the influence of cultural perspectives. The relationship between laughter and mental health should be further explored.

AB - A review was conducted of recent scientific research results, both international and regional, on the relationship between laughter and health. The findings revealed conceptual differences due to variations in cultural traditions. The Western studies indicated that laughter could strengthen the immune system, enhance metabolic functions, reduce stress, and increase tolerance for pain. In contrast, studies based on traditional Chinese medicine indicated that laughter could be detrimental to physical and mental balance. These differences are also found in the definitions of "laughter" in the different cultures. In the West, the definition of laughter is entirely positive. The Chinese definition, however, refers to both positive and negative relationships between emotion and action. It was not until the 20th century that the Taiwanese began to have more positive attitudes toward laughter, although still with a reminder to not "overdo it." More research is needed on these drastically different opinions about laughter to shed light on the influence of cultural perspectives. The relationship between laughter and mental health should be further explored.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=55849114058&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=55849114058&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 282

EP - 291

JO - Chinese Journal of Public Health

JF - Chinese Journal of Public Health

SN - 1023-2141

IS - 4

ER -