Puns and the Aging Process

The question of what makes a good pun depends on the age of the punster and the expectations associated with age. There is lesson in this for all inveterate punsters as they "mature."

Micro Actions Can Lead to Macro Changes: Make Your Bed

Do you want to make a major self-change? One way is to start by first taking small actions that are easy to achieve and to sustain. The resulting habits can then lead to the major changes you want.

The Best Time to Plant a Tree Was 20 Years Ago, No Matter

Feeling like life has passed you by? No matter how much time you think you've wasted, starting today there still plenty of time to start afresh. Before you know it, you will reflect on your life with satisfaction.

It Takes Patience to Know Bad Luck From Good Luck

Experience can teach us to wait a while before we judge the full effects of what appears to be either bad or good fortune.

Avoiding Comparisons and the Conquest of Happiness

Bertrand Russell had many suggestions for how to achieve happiness. Avoid comparisons was one. Comparisons cause the good things in life to seem paltry and unworthy of our enjoyment. What a needless shame.

What Makes a Good Pun?

Punsters often insert puns into serious situations, thereby disrupting the hearer's goals. This produces groans of anger and frustration even if the puns are clever. The best puns are both clever and also succeed in furthering rather than disrupting the hearer's goals and in enhancing meaning.

The Important Distinction Between Benign and Malicious Envy

Envy can motivate self-improvement without making us miserable and hostile. But we need to cultivate benign envy rather than malicious envy, by considering the incremental steps we can take to reach our goals.

The Highs of Elevation

Witnessing a good person doing a good thing can give us chills -- and it is a good thing that it can.

Envy and Injustice

Envy, in its ugly, hostile form, is partly a subjective cry of injustice. We believe, usually in our unexpressed thoughts, that advantaged people are somehow underserving of their advantages. This contributes to the peculiar pain of envy and its distinctive ill will.

Schadenfreude in Kids: Others' Spills Can Spell Joy

How natural is it to feel pleased when another person suffers? Recent findings with kids show that schadenfreude is easily evoked when linked with moral emotions and jealousy.

What Is the Difference Between Guilt and Shame?

Guilt and shame are overlapping but distinctively experienced emotions.

Envious Reactions to Great Wealth

How can we know when negative emotional reactions to increasing wealth are due to envy or to righteous indignation? What difference does this make? Should we think in terms of two types of envy, benign or malicious?

Joy in Another's Shame: Humilitainment Anyone?

Sometimes witnessing the humiliation of others can be gratifying. Why?

What is the Difference Between Envy and Jealousy?

How do psychologists distinguish the emotions of envy and jealousy?

The Politics of Schadenfreude

For some, the bungled roll out of the Affordable Care Act provides the guilt-free schadenfreude of a lifetime.

Goosebumps and Dr. King's Dream Speech

Why do we feel goosebumps when watching Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream speech? It may be because goosebumps have an important link with awe and envy.

Envy and Schadenfreude on the Mississippi

The young Mark Twain knew a boy who worked on a steamboat. Twain felt a "tranquil contentment" when this boy's boat blew up. Why?