All About Humor

Humor is serious business. Sure, there's simple comedy like a pie in the face or an Adam Sandler movie, but a lot of jokes display real intellect, and despite much reflection and experimentation—both in labs and on stages—no one has yet discovered a unified theory of hilarity. Humor can be used for bonding, releasing tension, attracting a mate, putting a rival in his place, or entertaining a child. It has as many functions and styles as there are variations on the light bulb joke. 

Recent posts on Humor

National Single Awareness Day Comes but Once a Year

By Frances Kuffel on February 14, 2017 in What Fat Women Want
Maybe it should be called National Single Undying-Gratitude Day.

Are You Always Busier Than Everyone Else? Do You Want to Be?

Instead of enjoying our time, we learned to manage it. We pass the day checking off tasks from lists as is if having to prove to Life's Parking Attendant we were here legally.

Having Fun Being Funny

By Bernard L. De Koven on February 07, 2017 in On Having Fun
In some games, victory comes not from being best, but from having the most fun. Together.

Happiness Needs an Invitation; Misery Barges In.

Joy and pleasure are, instead, excellent guests and, as such, they wait for an invitation. You have to open the door to life’s best moments; you have to invite them in.
"My_Boss_Is_A_J-E-R-K!" by Nyttend/Public Domain

The Mensch, the Goofball, the Jerk, and the Asshole

By Christopher A. Robert Ph.D. on January 16, 2017 in Humor at Work
Humor skill is important, but perhaps even more important are the underlying reasons why people use humor.

A Playful Protest

By Bernard L. De Koven on January 16, 2017 in On Having Fun
These are the times when even a simple thing like playing together in public can have a revolutionary impact.

Pessimism of the Intelligence, Optimism of the Will

Can we combine pessimism of intelligence and optimism of will in confronting the devastation to environmental policy and regulation that many fear from the incoming administration?

Carrie Fisher: Turning Problems into Punchlines

By Judy Carter on January 06, 2017 in Stress Is a Laughing Matter
Carrie Fisher was able to turn mental illness into a career. In so doing, she helped so many “come out” about their own secrets. Can laughter really help heal mental illness?

Seeing The Funny Side to Everything

By Bernard L. De Koven on January 02, 2017 in On Having Fun
No matter what truths you seek, you'll some of the deepest and most useful truths if you can just see the funny side.

4 Emotions for Surviving & Thriving in an Uncertain America

Americans are facing unprecedented times, and many are experiencing emotional upheaval. What advice does emotion science hold for the months ahead?
James Coplan, MD

Perfectionism, Part 2

Do you have gremlins below decks, countermanding the captain's orders?
“Chimpanzee_selfie” by Frontierofficial/CC by 2.0

The Evolution of Humor: From Grunts to Poop Jokes

By Christopher A. Robert Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in Humor at Work
The human capacity for humor distinguishes our species from others. Humor is the result of millions of years of evolution.

A Laughing Matter

By Holly Parker, Ph.D. on November 19, 2016 in Your Future Self
Comedians deserve deep, heartfelt gratitude. They’re not just funny. We actually need them.
lawprier/Flickr, CC by 2.0

The Healing Power of Laughter in Death and Grief

If humor is a part of living, than why should it not be a part of dying?

Illustrating Mental Health With Cartoons

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on November 02, 2016 in Talking About Trauma
Cartoons allow audiences to grasp intricate aspects of psychological disorders.

Happy Childhood, Happy Marriage

By Temma Ehrenfeld on October 27, 2016 in Open Gently
Happy childhoods are a big advantage, but we all can learn the skills that preserve relationships and health.

3 Fascinating Discoveries About Laughter

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on October 24, 2016 in Curious?
Let us travel where scientists seldom tread—everyday, lowly human behaviors. Laughter. What myths do you hold? What truths are you ready to discover?
K.Ramsland

Ghost Righter

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on October 19, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
A bit of Halloween fun, let's consider therapy in the afterlife for those who made poor choices while alive.
VIA Institute/Depositphotos

5 New Humor Exercises to Boost Your Happiness!

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on October 14, 2016 in What Matters Most?
Want to learn about 5 new ways to boost your well-being and your strength of humor?

Does Calling It a Joke Make Sexism More Acceptable?

The door to locker room banter was opened up in last week’s revelations in the now infamous Access Hollywood video. New research shows just how humor can be used to cover sexism.

Finding Happiness in a Burger Joint

Can team bonding lead to better business?

Television With Tots: Guilt Free Co-Viewing Recommendations

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on September 29, 2016 in Screen Time
Have concerns about your young child's screen time? These few recommendation may help.

Wedding Vows for Modern Times

Today's marital vows seem to be much more about personal fulfillment than about making a life and a home together.

7 Reasons Every New Parent Should Read Welcome to the Club

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in The Squeaky Wheel
Raquel D'Apice's new baby milestone book 'Welcome to the club' will not only entertain new parents it will be therapeutic for them. Here’s why:

Is It Too Late to Say Balti?

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in Language in the Mind
What is the nature of punning? Musical puns in TV adverts provide an unexpected venue to explore the linguistics of humor.

18 Classic Psychology Jokes

Did you hear the one about the nearsighted psychologist?

Were the 1970s Better or Worse Than the 60s?

Ah, the 1970s, when we used our own heads as one giant roller. When Jade East, English Leather, Herbal Essence, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Pursettes filled our backpacks.

Chicken Phobias and Other Matters of Concern

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 11, 2016 in Fighting Fear
A contrast between agoraphobia and more specific phobias. A presentation of a question that stumped me during a radio broadcast.

Seductive Details in Teaching

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on September 05, 2016 in Critical Feeling
Making a lesson fun looks like a good idea but may impair learning.