Children's Laughter the Apex of Joy

The sound of children laughing delights listeners more than any other noise, a New Zealand study has found. Psychologist Aaron Jarden says it is because laughter is associated with well-being.

What's the Latest Development?


In a recent study out of New Zealand, people were asked which sounds they most closely associate with joy. At the top of the list was the sound of children laughing, followed by sounds of nature and animals. "I think that is purely an evolutionary mechanism in the sense that laughter is a sign that things are going well," says psychologist Aaron Jarden. He said picturing a baby evoked a feeling of well-being but adding the sound of laughter made it more potent. At the bottom of the list were armpit farts, V-8 engines and firecrackers. 

What's the Big Idea?

How does the noise in our environment affect our well-being? The results of recent research indicate that our sense of joy plummets when we are surrounded by a dull hum or loud bursts of sound. "Jarden, the lead investigator in New Zealand for an international wellbeing survey, said regularly experiencing joy was a vital component in the wellbeing spectrum, along with positive emotion, engagement and meaning in life, positive relationships and accomplishment. 'Those are the five key areas, if you are topping those, and doing well in those, you will have wellbeing.'"

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