Dr Caspar Addyman is a lecturer in psychology and director of the InfantLab at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has investigated how babies acquire language, concepts and even a sense of time. His Baby Laughter project has surveyed families all over the world, focusing on how laughter helps babies bond and learn.

Dr Addyman’s research began with the question, why do babies laugh more than the rest of us. He said laughter is a great means of communication between people, quoting Victor Borge: “Laughter is the closest distance between two people”.

He said there are many life lessons that adults have gained from laughing babies, including in the fields of science, communication and art. But the main life lesson from laughing babies was happiness. It is clear from a baby’s laugh, the pure joy they experience from life. This is due to babies finding the happy medium between trying new experiences and doing things they already know how to do. In his baby laughter research, he found that in all the countries he surveyed families in, peekaboo was what made babies laugh the most.

At the end of the Psychology Society talk, we listened to the song that Dr Addyman helped create, “The Happy Song,” which has been scientifically proven to make babies happy.

Alice Farmer (W)