Researchers at Penn State University have scientifically proven that laughter may still be the best medicine for some things, even throughout a pandemic. The authors write “As COVID-19 quickly spread across the globe, social media memes about life in a pandemic also spread across the Internet.”
The authors conducted an online experiment involving over 700 people to assess how viewing memes during this pandemic era may influence their stress and coping.
The authors go on to say “In terms of psychological responses, we found that meme viewing was associated with stronger cuteness responses, higher levels of reported humor, more positive emotions, and lower levels of information processing.”
The findings also suggest that viewing memes, as compared with nonmeme content, indirectly increased COVID-19 coping efficacy. There was specific benefit for those who consumed memes featuring animals as opposed to humans.