NCBI ROFL: An ecological study of glee in small groups of preschool children.

By ncbi rofl | April 8, 2010 6:00 pm

2877000137_0ca6aa1e7f“A phenomenon called group glee was studied in videotpes of 596 formal lessons in a preschool. This was characterized by joyful screaming, laughing, and intense physical acts which occurred in simultaneous bursts or which spread in a contagious fashion from one child to another. A variety of precipitating factors were identified, the most prevalent being teacher requests for volunteers, unstructured lags in lessons, gross physical-motor actions, and cognitive incongruities. Distinctions between group glee and laughter were pointed out. While most events of glee did not disrupt the ongoing lesson, those which did tended to produce a protective reaction on the part of teachers. Group glee tended to occur most often in large groups (7-9 children) and in groups containing both sexes. The latter finding was related to Darwin’s theory of differentiating vocal signals in animals and man.”


Photo: flickr/edenpictures

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  • Joanna Cake

    Was there any data regarding whether the children had eaten biscuits or drunk juice prior to these outbursts of ‘glee’? There are now so many food additives going into our pre-school kids when they are away from parental control, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these events were linked.

  • Callie O.

    Well said, Joanna; what other variables were/were not taken into account. In addition to the problems with food additives, there is also our old friend the “sugar high.” When my son was in kindergarten the teacher would only allow sweets (birthday celebrations) just before class was dismissed. As she told me: “I’ll let the parents deal with the sugar acceleration.”

  • Chris

    So… this is a study about young kids being hyper. And why they are that way. Do we really need data that support the hypothesis that kids have incredible amounts of energy?


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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