Melia, C (2016) The Use of Shared Laughter for Amicably Terminating Disagreements within Romantic Relationships. Under Construction @Keele, 2 (2). pp. 20-30.

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Abstract

In response to escalating divorce rates, considerable research has been conducted surrounding the relationship between couple’s conflict prevalence and relationship satisfaction. Research has consistently argued that conflict and related negative communication behaviours are detrimental to satisfaction levels within romantic partners (Birditt, Brown, Orbuch & Mcllvane, 2010). However, this research has inadequately addressed the fine details of these disagreements and there is little understanding surrounding the communication techniques used within such conflicts. This study observed four couples for a total of over twenty hours in order to identify the key communication techniques used within disagreements. Following Jefferson transcription, the data was then analysed in terms of conversation analytic devices such as laughter or topic transition to understand how these techniques affected the conflict. Through analysis of the data, the research identified a phenomenon in using laughter to terminate conflict through de-escalating and mitigating the seriousness of the dispute, ultimately ending more positively than other conflict ending strategies. This addresses the gap in understanding the detail of conflict within romantic relationships and also contributes to the growing body of similar conversation analysis studies, which have identified the significance of laughter in terminating conflict and related topics. In addition to the wider context of research supporting the positive effects of laughter in everyday use (Garcia, 2014; Holt, 2010), this study identifies the beneficial use of laughter in the key context of disagreements.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Laughter, Conflict, Conversation Analysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2016 09:13
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2017 15:45
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2253

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