Seventy-seven years ago more economic security was regarded as the key to being happy  whereas now it is all about having more leisure time and laughter.

London – If you want someone to spill their secrets, make them laugh.

Research shows that we are more likely to tell others intimate information after having a good giggle.

It also seems that laughter is so intoxicating that we give away our secrets without realising it.

University College London researchers say that laughter is key to forming relationships – and we should take it more seriously.

To study the value of laughter, they asked more than 100 Oxford University students to watch a clip from a Michael McIntyre comedy show, a golfing instruction DVD or a David Attenborough nature documentary.

Afterwards, the students were asked to write a message to someone else in their group to help them get to know them better. Those who laughed their way through Michael McIntyre were more likely to disclose personal information than those who watched the golf and nature videos, even if they liked them.

Writing in the journal Human Nature, the researchers said that simple enjoyment is not enough for us to spill our secrets.

Instead, it seems laughter is the key. This may be because it triggers the release of endorphins – ‘feel-good’ chemicals that make it us less inhibited.

Endorphins may also make us less focused on ourselves, perhaps explaining why those who confided personal details seldom realised how juicy their information was.

Daily Mail