The Front Runner

So she’s going to kill him of in the end. Is that the only way of gaining sympathy? That’s why i liked Boy Meets Boy so much. It was anything but sad. I don’t like sad books. Is read non-fiction for that. There’s enough sadness in the real world.

Today I’m feeling satisfied. The Superintendent finally appreciated me. The managers must realise that there are two kinds of people: those who need the stick and others who need praise. None of the two will work if the reward at the end is changed.

How scientists make people laugh to study humor

If you search on the Web of Science database for papers on the emotion of fear, you’ll get back 6,477 published papers. Search for papers on laughter and you’ll get a paltry 175. Why the disparity? Well, one reason might be that laughter, like other positive emotions, feels less important than negative emotions. Sometimes people think that laughter is a ridiculous, trite, pointless topic to research — and somehow not the sort of topic we should study with Science with a capital S.

I’m a cognitive neuroscientist who works on vocal communication, and I (perhaps unsurprisingly) disagree. I have started to look into laughter in more detail, and I think it’s a fascinating social behavior it is essential to study (here’s an article I wrote for The Psychologist, a paper for The Journal of Neuroscience, and another for Cerebral Cortex). However, there is another reason why it is extremely…

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