Background:The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of various kinds of emotion (sad, neutral, and laughter) on the cognitive functioning of graduate and undergraduate students. Moreover, the study aims to evaluate whether laughter as an intervention can enhance the cognitive processing of graduate and undergraduate students.
Methods:Participants were allocated through simple randomization in a 1-session, 5-trial, double-blind, and within-group design. The study incorporated three standard psychological instruments to obtain the desired datasets related to cognitive abilities, mood states, and emotion induction in five trials. Furthermore, three mood states (sad, neutral, and laughing) were induced to assess the impact of mood on cognition. The study applied a two-way factorial ANOVA (analysis of variance) to draw the desired results.
Results: The results of the present study revealed that laughter had a significant positive effect on graduate and undergraduate students' cognitive processes and mood (F = 58.49, p =.000, 2 =.38). Cognition (F= 235.56, p=.000, η2 =.71) executive functioning (F=67.62, p=.000, η2=.42), language (F=40.24, p=.000, η2=.30), visual spatial (F=43.91, p=.000, η2=.32), attention, concentration, and working memory (F=102.5, p=.000, η2=.523). Furthermore, participants were shown to be vulnerable in cognition and affect when sadness was induced.
Conclusions: The study findings offered empirical evidence that depressive mood had a negative impact on students' cognitive abilities. Results further indicate that positive emotions have a significant impact on cognition, and laughter could be a non-intrusive and easily implementable way to enhance students' affect and cognition by reducing stress and study load.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2023 Hafiza Abida, Aqsa Chaman, Abdul Basit Qureshi