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A Scientific Theory of Humor

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https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-scientific-theory-of-humor/

scientificamerican.com

A Scientific Theory of Humor
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.

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A Good Sense Of Humor

A Good Sense Of Humor
  • Humor has many practical uses, like diffusing a difficult situation, masking one’s nervousness, coping with failure and softening the criticism doled out to someone. 
  • Humor works ...

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The Perfect Formula Of Funny

According to philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, humor is derived from a sudden unmatching or unexpected outcome of an event, which had in our minds a specific expectation. This causes a mild ‘violati...

115 SAVES


Non-Words

In a series of experiments, it was found that the greater the ‘violation of the expected outcome’ the greater the humor feels. It also found that certain non-words, which are a combination of lette...

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Shame Affects Our Mental Health

Shame Affects Our Mental Health

Shame is that uncomfortable sensation we feel in our stomach when we realize our irrationality and cannot run away from the judging eye of other people. It usually happens when we ...

Women And Children Feel Shame More Intensely

  • Women and adolescents are quick to feel the negative effects of shame, and dive into low self-esteem and depression at a much faster rate than men.
  • Young people have a stronger ‘pull’ towards any kind of emotion, including shame, which is the reason for them being susceptible to severe depression.
  • The propensity of shame decreases as we grow older, but elders again start to feel ashamed just as a young person, as they get self-conscious of their actions, appearance and bodily decline.

Shame And Guilt

  • Guilt is related to shame but is easier to rectify, as we focus our attention on the other person and apologize, accepting responsibility.
  • Shame is an inward emotion that makes us view our entire self in a bad light, with us getting punished by our conscience.
  • Guilt is actually a positive emotion, showing our empathy and encouraging us to reverse the harm that we may have done.

Attachment Styles

Attachment Styles

We all have a personal bonding style, which is based early on in life according to our upbringing and how we act, feel and think in a close relationship.

Attachment...

Secure Attachment Style

  • When a partner has a secure attachment style, they feel comfortable and confident in their relationship and in their significant other.
  • There is a feeling of connectedness, trust, and freedom as both the partners let the other have independence and offer full support all the time.
  • A strong and secure life amply supported by one’s parents builds the foundation of this style.

Dismissive Or Avoidant Attachment Style

  • Many people find it uncomfortable to trust the other person or to get too emotionally close.
  • They are self-sufficient and do not need emotional intimacy.
  • They quickly pull away and ‘go in a cave’ when rejected or hurt.
  • Having negligent or abusive parents is associated with people having this style, and they often suppress their internal need for love and care.

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Past and future

Past and future
  • When English speakers use hand gestures to talk about the past and the future, they thrust a hand over the shoulder for the past and put a hand forward to indicate the future. English speake...

How humans sense time

Humans are different from animals in that we don't sense time only as passing. We dice time into units or think of time to go beyond our lifespan, such as millennia. We rely on time concepts that allow us to make plans, follow recipes, and discuss possible futures.

Describing yesterday and tomorrow

Recent research suggests that across all cultures, the concept of time depends on metaphor, known as a conceptual metaphor. We build our understanding of duration and sequences of events out of familiar spatial ideas such as size, movement, and location.

But the "time is like space" metaphor takes on very different forms from one culture to the next.

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Why We Avoid Asking For Advice

Why We Avoid Asking For Advice

Most people shy away from asking for advice when they cannot figure out how to finish a tricky task or assignment at work.

  • Reasons range from not wanting to bother anyone, or not tru...

Advice Seekers Appear Smarter

The fear of appearing incompetent or an incompetent person is misplaced, as research shows that the person who is asked for advice thinks good of the person asking.

Advice seekers appear smarter to the person whose ego is now stroke, making him provide valuable insights while being impressed by the seeker. Being asked for advice increases the level of perceived competency of the seeker in the eyes of the expert.

Connection Made Thorugh Advice

Asking for advice leads to a series of interactions at the office, which gives way to exchanging information, learning and builds a meaningful connection that goes beyond the initial request for advice.

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Rocking Sleep

Rocking Sleep

Rocking babies back and forth while making them sleep is common as parents try to stop them from wailing and shouting. Even as adults, we can get lulled into sleep in the rhythmic motion of the tra...

Health Benefits Of Rocking

  • People who rock while sleeping tend to be less disturbed during the night and maintain their deep sleep longer.
  • The memory function improves by a factor of three, according to a study.
  • Rocking synchronizes the brainwaves in the ‘thalamocortical’ networks of the brain, helping both sleep and memory consolidation while improving one’s mood.

Near-death experiences (NDEs)

Near-death experiences (NDEs)

NDEs are triggered during a life-threatening situation when the body is injured by blunt trauma, e.g., a heart attack or shock.

Many survivors tell of leaving their damaged...

Negative NDEs experiences

Not all NDEs are positive - some can be frightening, with intense terror, anguish, loneliness, and despair. Distressing NDEs are underreported because of shame, social stigma, and pressure to conform to the positive NDEs.

A close encounter with death reminds us of the fragility of life and can reveal the layers of psychological suppression that prevents us from these uncomfortable thoughts.

The NDE phenomenon

A 2017 study found that NDEs were recalled with greater clarity and detail than either real or imagined situations were. In other words, NDEs were remembered as being more real than life itself.

NDEs are no more likely to occur in devout believers than in secular or nonpracticing subjects.

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Performer - audience synchrony

Performer - audience synchrony

When you are at a concert and you get to the part with a refrain from your favorite song, you are swept up in the music. The performers and audience seem to be moving as one.

Rese...

Dancing to the same emotions

The synchrony between the brain activity of a performer and his audience shows insights into the nature of musical exchanges: we dance and feel the same emotions together, and our neurons fire together as well. This is especially true when it comes to the more popular performances.

Synchronous brain activity was localized in the left hemisphere of the brain (temporal-parietal junction). This area is important for empathy, the understanding of others’ thoughts and intentions, and verbal working memory used for expressing thought.

Music and the right hemisphere of the brain

The right brain hemisphere is most often associated with the interpretation of musical melody.

In the right hemisphere, synchronization is localized to areas involved in recognizing musical structure and pattern (the inferior frontal cortex) and interpersonal understanding (the inferior frontal and postcentral cortices).

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A Psychologically Rich Life

A Psychologically Rich Life

The definition of a good life has been divided into two main conceptualizations by many great philosophers and thinkers.

  • A Happy Life or hedonic well-being involves pleasure...

The Third Concept Of Life

New research points out towards the third conceptualization of a good life (besides a happy life and a meaningful one): The psychologically rich life.

It is a life full of intense, deep emotions, complex and diverse mental engagements, and surprising experiences, making the psychologically rich life both pleasant, meaningful and novel. This may or may not involve any kind of economic richness.

When Perfect Becomes Boring

No one really talks about it, but a picture-perfect life with a steady office job, nice car, a great family may be satisfying and meaningful but still become monotonous and boring.

The cracks start to show after a few years in the form of mid-life crisis or family issues like marital problems.

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The Risks Of A Life Spanning Centuries

The Risks Of A Life Spanning Centuries

With the rapid advancement in bioscience and technology, it is likely that most ailments will be cured in the future and our life span would increase considerably.

With increased lifespans,...

The Challenges of The Future

As the human life span increases to span centuries, the planetary environment, along with the collaboration and cooperation among nations would come to the forefront, as hostile people and chronic pollution are extremely dangerous in the long run.

While our survival would still not be a guarantee, there will be a new challenge of overpopulation, which could be moderated by sending people into space to colonize other places, and by limiting the birth rate.

The Long Journey

As inter-galaxy travel becomes a reality, there could be many spaceships which would be able to take us to nearby habitable solar systems, setting up for new adventures, challenges and a completely radical lifestyle.

The changes in Earth’s biosphere could also be a concern, as new technologies and constant harvesting of resources (like deforestation) can lead to dangerous environmental changes.

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Recognizing mirrored motion

Recognizing mirrored motion

Italian neuroscientists first noticed the "mirror neuron system." The brain recognizes a kind of micro-kinship.

When we watch a video of someone else smelling...

The challenges of live self-stream

  • The non-mirror-style self. We are used to seeing ourselves mirror-style. When you move your left hand, it will always be flipped when you view yourself in a mirror. On Zoom, you lift your left hand, and the opposite side moves on Zoom. This feels disorientating. Thankfully, Zoom has fixed this.
  • The perfect self-contingency detection. When you lift your hand in front of a mirror, there is no lag in the image. Now you feel your arm stir and see it move a few seconds later. No wonder we stare at ourselves.
  • Glitchy wifi magnifies the slight asynchrony. The response delay disrupts your feeling of connection with another person. You can't read them, and they can't read you.
  • A documented phenomenon is that we accurately recognize neutral expressions on other faces, but we misidentify our own expressions. We see our own expression as unfavorable most of the time.