I don't know about you, but I actually quite enjoy clapping my hands in response to a good performance, and generally some crowds are more noisy than others.
According to a Swedish study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Interface, it has been discovered that clapping is in fact contagious.
It has been recognised that it is not the quality of the performance which determines the length of the applause but it is the group dynamic of the people in the audience. Apparently it only takes 1 or 2 people to begin clapping for an applause to ripple through the audience and likewise it takes only a few people to stop clapping in order to stop the applause in its tracks.
A researcher in this study has said that there is a strong social pressure to start clapping and an equally strong pressure to continue clapping until another person has initiated the termination of the applause.
So the next time clapping appears to be appropriate, be bold and either initiate the clapping or be the first person to rest your hands.
Be the clapping trendsetter.