Live Comedy Evokes Trust and Empathy

Stand-up Comics Induce Bonding in Audience Members




Research from the UK University of Surrey has found that witnessing live comedy increases emotional interaction and bonding between the spectators and performer and enhances a general feeling of trust and intimacy among participants through the shared experience.

Published in the journal Comedy Studies, the study was conducted by doctoral candidate Tim Miles, who analyzed surveys and interviews of audience members, as well as comedians, including some well-known performers. Miles found that comics and audiences connected through sharing of admiration and empathy. Bonds also formed as the audience began to identify with the observations and experiences of the comic.

“Comedy has often been seen to be a bit frivolous, but it’s actually something really important. My work looking at comedians and comedy audiences has shown how live, stand-up comedy fulfills a need for feelings of truth, trust, empathy and intimacy between people, which is really important in a society where many people often complain about feeling isolated,” says Miles.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Eat Right to Sleep Well

Rather than popping a pill, eating certain foods can kick-start hormones that help us get a long, deep night’s sleep.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.

Peter Gros on Preserving Wild Nature

The wildlife expert explains why we should appreciate wolves, snakes and bats and what he finds encouraging about an enlightened focus on wildlife protection.

Running with the Kids

Families with children as young as 5 easily bond when they mindfully run together at a fun pace.

Livable Communities We Love

Across the country, cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Portland are finding fresh new ways to create engaging street life for residents while eco-upgrading their green spaces, services and infrastructure.

Add your comment: