top of page

YPIE Scientist: Michael Slattery

Updated: May 25, 2021

Research: A Meme A Day Keeps The Doctor Away: How Laughter Affects Emotions

Awards: Westlake 2019 Participant; WESEF 2021 Participant


As all humans use laughter as a form of nonverbal communication, and often gather into groups, it is necessary to find out more about the emotional and physiological effects of laughter. A common form of media to convey laughter is the use of memes. A meme is a joke that gains influence through online transmission. The combination of these two premises bring the hypothesis that will be tested. Does laughter in a group setting increase emotion more than it would individually? The methods to find this are as follows, First participants will be taken to a study room where they will first individually complete a Pre-BMIS Survey. Then they will scroll through social media for 5 minutes and once complete, will complete a Post-BMIS Survey. The same method will be repeated but for the second session, participants will gather in groups of 3-6 to complete the test. The results collected so far have both supported and contradicted the hypothesis. One set of data (Figure 1) had shown statistical significance with an r-value of .634, showing that pleasant mood does indeed increase as laughter increases in an individual setting. On the other hand Figure 5 had shown that so far, individual mood scores for pleasant-unpleasant mood increased more than that of group situations. This research can be used to help therapy for psychological situations with depression or other mental illnesses.

About this Scientist:

Michael Slattery is a senior from Riverside High School. He will be attending SUNY Maritime College in the fall. He is excited to learn about Electrical Engineering and is grateful for everything he’s learned in school and at YPIE.

68 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Jun 04, 2021

If you were to switch individuals with ages of 14-18 with individuals of ages 11-13, do you think there would be a significant increase of both individual laughter vocalization and group laughter vocalization?


May 27, 2021

this is such a cool topic to dive into. love how you've managed to connect emotions and science together. great work!

bottom of page