Are you really, truly capable of laughing at yourself?
If so, it’s a good sign that you have an optimistic personality and a good sense of humor, a new study suggests.
A small, new study in the journal Emotion of 70 people reveals that those who are really able to laugh at themselves are more cheerful and less serious than people who fake it.
Researchers tested the phenomena by first asking the study participants if they are able to laugh at themselves. Then, they took secret footage of the study participants as they saw — and laughed at — distorted pictures of themselves.
Researchers found that ability of people to laugh at themselves was not connected with how much they laughed at the images of other people — suggesting that it has more to do with a specific character trait, rather than just recognizing a funny photo when you see one, TIME reported.
In addition to being good for spirits, laughter has also been shown in past research to boost health. A small study presented this year at an American Heart Association meeting showed that listening to funny jokes or your favorite music could lower blood pressure possibly even as much as cutting salt from your diet or losing 10 pounds.