Time to Laugh
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…
View original post 734 more words