Laughter stimulates behavior that benefits the development of relationships.

If people have laughed together, they behave more openly to each other, according to new research.

When subjects collectively watch a comedy film, they are immediately thereafter willing to share a lot of personal information with each other.

They themselves are not even aware of that outspokenness.

This is reported by researchers at University College London in the journal Human Nature.

The researchers had 112 students in groups to watch different films. Some groups were shown a comedy film, others watched an instructional video for golfers or a nature film.

Afterwards, all participants were asked to write a message to another member to get to know each other better.

The subjects who watched a comedy film, included much more personal information in their texts than the viewers of the nature film and the instructional video.

According to lead researcher Alan Gray this candour was probably not only produced by the shared positive experience, but also by the "happiness hormone" endorphine released during laughter.

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