Analysis of laughter events and social status of children in classrooms

Author(s): Hiroaki Hatano, Carlos Ishi, Tsuyoshi Komatsubara, Masahiro Shiomi and Takayuki Kanda

Abstract

We analyzed the social interactions of children by collecting data in a science classroom of a Japanese elementary school using our developed system that can identify who is talking, when, and where in an environment, based on the integration of multiple microphone arrays and human tracking technologies. In the present work, among the sound activities in the classroom, we focused on laughter events, since laughter conveys important social functions in communication and might be a cue for identifying social status. Social status is often studied in educational and developmental research since it is importantly related to children’s social and academic life. We extracted laughter events using the visual displays of spatial-temporal information provided by our developed system and quantified social status based on a sociometry questionnaire. Our analysis results revealed that the number of laughter events in children with high social status was significantly higher than in those with low social status. We also investigated the relationship between laughter type and social status.

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