Putting Humor Under a Microscope

Responding to Daniel Dennett's take on humor.

A Professor Walks Into a MOOC…

How funny is Dan Ariely?

Who Is Funnier—Democrats or Republicans?

The Humor Code takes a scientific look at humor in politics. Peter McGraw and Joel Warner ask who's funnier, Republicans or Democrats?

Most Things (Even the Things That Are Meant to Be) Aren't Funny

Unfortunately, people also don't spend very much time finding things funny. In a 1999 study, Rod Martin and Nicholas Kupier asked adults to keep a laughter diary. The researchers found that the average person reported only 18 episodes of laughter per day.

Meet the People Who Use Humor to Heal

“Comedy saved my life,” said Saranne Rothberg, who started therapeutic-humor nonprofit ComedyCures after using humor to help her cope with and recover from stage-four breast cancer.

Can Humor Help Stop An Unwanted Pregnancy?

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has a problem: Seven out of 10 pregnancies among unmarried 18-to-29-year-olds in this country are unplanned. The organization also has an unusual potential solution: comedy.

Gender and Humor: Science vs. Christopher Hitchens

Scientifically testing Christopher Hitchens' claim that men are funnier than women.

The Secrets of Thanksgiving Gluttony & Black Friday Insanity

Millions of Americans will eat too much on Thanksgiving and fight through the crowds on Black Friday. Is all that tryptophan turning us into gluttonous maniacs?

Swearing Off (Humorous) Thought Experiments

Why have humor theories long fallen short? Maybe it's because thinkers have spent too long thinking about them, and not enough time subjecting them to empirical tests.

The Importance of Humor Research

Humor has been around for as long as there has been humanity -- and considering that chimps and other primates laugh, humor has likely been around even longer than that. In comparison, psychological research on humor is just getting cracking

Can—and Should—Humor Be Explained Once and for All?

One of the hallmarks of civilization has been to take the disparate and chaotic elements of the world around us and wield them together in tidy, eloquent explanations and then test them. It's time to do the same for the wide world of comedy.