All About Laughter

Laughter serves weightier purposes than turning noses into milk spigots. More than merely a side-effect of mirth, it acts as a sophisticated social signaling system, helping people bond and even negotiate status. Consider that most social laughter does not result from any obvious joke.

Yukking it up also has numerous health benefits: It lowers anxiety, boosts the immune system, and aids circulation. These contagious convulsions are anything but frivolous.

Recent Posts on Laughter

Reassessing Asperger's

A person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has difficulty with Theory of Mind: our ability to appreciate another person's point of view. But AS people can be very adept at noticing what people think and feel about them. This is a different perspective on perspective: that we are more interested in what people think or feel about us and later about what they think or feel.

Lessons in Speaking From The Heart

By Greg O'Brien on May 12, 2015 in On Pluto
Laughter can be a powerful antidote to dementia—the pain, conflict, and stress of it. A good laugh, doctors say, reduces tension and can leave muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases stress hormones, and triggers the release of endorphins—the natural drug of choice.

Black Comedians Poke Fun at Racial Stereotypes

Black Comedians Poke Fun at Racial Stereotypes. The comedian’s goal is to get us to laugh with him while laughing at him. By Michelle Stephens, PhD

Why do we like our bully boss?

By Eyal Winter on April 18, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Check if you have a Stockholm Bias toward your Bully Boss.

Bethlehem: A Subjective Travelogue

My love of the capacity of the human spirit to transcend all odds soared as I munched on a traditional oven-baked lamb dish. Across from me sat one of Holy Land Trust’s core team members, telling me bits of his story of opening up to the vision that fuels the organization. As hard as it was to be there, it was also a tiny slice of what’s humanly possible.

The Art of Friendships: Lessons from David and Goliath

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Curious?
I have been thinking deeply about the importance of friendships. This is not the first post I have written on the topic. Here are some thoughts, extending the story laid out in Malcolm Gladwell's last book, David and Goliath....

Smartphones for Dummies—and Young People

You've hemmed and you've hawed, but finally you've given in and bought your child a smartphone. Now, the challenge begins: how do you ensure that he or she uses it wisely? Here are 10 guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child’s new gadget.

The 4 Styles of Humor

What do you find funny, and what sort of humor appeals to you? Research has focused on different humor styles, and distinguishes four types.

Tired of Being 'Stuck' in Your Relationship?

There is an art to creating and embracing change so you can reinvigorate your relationship.

Body Smart

Your diaphragm plays a huge role in your tension and relaxation.

Redditor to Redditor

Young men are finding new ways to reach out to each other and older generations for advice and mentorship.

10 Signs of True Love

Two selfish creatures committing to a life partnership need an ironic frame.

Loving the Process Means Everything for Creativity

By Gregory Ciotti on April 13, 2015 in Habits, Not Hacks
Artists must enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.

Add Humor to Your Job and Boost Your Career

Take the brave step of experimenting with more well-placed humor at your job. By going outside your normal comfort zone with some easy-to-follow tips, you may develop a much more appealing work environment for yourself, and advance your career.

5 Questions We Often Ask Ourselves After Microaggressions

Society’s awareness of microaggressions and its many expressions have increased over the past few years. The internal dialogues and psychological struggles that microaggressions cause marginalized people, however, are rarely discussed and remain largely “Unseen and Unheard” by the general public. I hope this helps.

'The Eureka Factor' and Your Creative Brain

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on April 13, 2015 in Tracking Wonder
A creative insight can be as small as landing on an angle for a blog post or as big as discovering a fresh angle for a new book or business launch. The moment you gain such an insight flashes like lightning – and vanishes like lightning. Can you become aware of such moments? And can you replicate them?

12 Keystone Principles That Bolster Resilience

These 12 keystone principles will increase your resilience and help you stay brave in the face of adversity.

8 Tips For Teasing Lovingly To Relieve Partnership Tension

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in Ambigamy
Healthy teasing can make partners feel safe and free. Unhealthy teasing can make partners feel unsafe and unfree. Here are a few ideas about how to stay on the healthy side of teasing, especially when your working to expand how safe and free you both feel.

How To Change Your Life

By Sheila Kohler on April 12, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
Change, which is so difficult to achieve in life and to portray in literature is often brought about by a catalyst, a stranger, who comes into our lives and makes us see ourselves in a different and perhaps more truthful light.

12 Ways to Replenish Your Energy

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on April 11, 2015 in Wander Woman
Do you feel exhausted at the end of the day, with little energy left for family and friends? This post will help you look at what you do that leaves you feeling drained, and then provides tips for revitalizing yourself so you have energy left for the evening.

Let’s Play: How the Science of the Brain Is Changing Therapy

I recently attended a conference at UCLA entitled: Play, Creativity, Mindfulness and Neuroscience in Psychotherapy. The conference offered an approach that has been gaining increasing importance, namely that: “Throughout the lifespan, play supports neurological growth and development while building complex, skilled, flexible, responsive and socially adept brains."

15 Ways to Share Love in the Springtime

Whether it is real or simply a happy time that enlivens us, here are some ways to take advantage of spring fever with someone special in your life.

Bullying: A Case Study Revisited

They delighted in their own cleverness, and in their ability to get many uninvolved bystanders to sing a chorus as they waited in the food line. In other words, the humiliation of one girl became a popular bonding experience, and ad-libbing new lyrics was a way to get positive peer attention.

Are Your Pressure Habits Helping You Or Hurting You?

Pressure Habits---they can either make or break your life so you better have good ones!

Why Inappropriate Laughter Is Often Contagious

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 08, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
The worst case of inappropriate laughter I've ever seen—can you resist giggling when you see it?

Should We Be Upset By Trevor Noah’s Controversial Tweets?

Trevor Noah is in hot water over a few not-so-hot tweets. The South African comic came under fire after Comedy Central announced he would replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show. His offense: tweets that targeted Jews and women. What are your reactions to his posts? (Spoiler alert: fat chicks and Jewish women— be prepared to bristle. Proceed with caution...)

The Coming Climate Disruptions: Are You Hopeful?

Hope is such a muddled word: “We must have hope!” “There is light at the end of the tunnel!” Why do climate books and speeches have to end on a note of hope? Re-thinking hope in the face of overwhelming climate changes.

How to Give Unconditional Love to Your Child and to Yourself

Parenting is really, truly, the hardest thing any of us will ever do, because it requires us to grow. So we all need to give ourselves support if we want to parent well. Instead of berating yourself when you make a mistake, resolve to learn from it.

How to Tell If You’re Pro-Diversity or Just Want More Power

Many marginalized voices don’t really want inclusion; they want dominance.

Cultural Differences

While attributing human characteristics to animals is cute in movies, and potentially a cause of misunderstanding between the species, it can be useful to help humans understand our 'cultural differences'.