Psychology & Psychiatry

The mystery of what makes a joke funny—but only to some people

How do you like the following joke from Sumeria in about 1900BC? "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap." Or this classic from Egypt, 1600BC? "How do you ...

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Essay adds to discourse on impact of suggestive jokes

(HealthDay)—Seemingly benign, recurring patterns of joking around a single theme (joke cycles) can contribute to humorizing and legitimizing sexual misconduct, according to an essay published online Nov. 12 in Communication ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers explore the purpose of offensive humour

Some people believe that offensive humour such as sexist or racist jokes can help break down barriers and challenge prejudice. Others simply find it appalling. The topic is clearly sensitive and often leads to discussions ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Sexist and anti-gay jokes: It's all about men feeling threatened

Why do some men crack sexist and anti-gay jokes or find them funny, while others do not? According to Emma O'Connor of the Western Carolina University in the US, such disparaging jokes are a way for some men to reaffirm their ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Serious research into what makes us laugh

More complex jokes tend to be funnier but only up to a point, Oxford researchers have found. Jokes that are too complicated tend to lose the audience.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Can you guess what happened last?

(Medical Xpress)—We can often predict what people are going to do. But is it possible to guess what it was that made them do it? Guessing what provoked a reaction by simply observing a brief sample of behaviour is something ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers find confidence is key to women's spatial skills

Boosting a woman's confidence makes her better at spatial tasks, University of Warwick scientists have found, suggesting skills such as parking and map-reading could come more easily if a woman is feeling good about herself.

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Is gallows humor in medicine wrong?

Doctors and other medical professionals occasionally joke about their patients' problems. Some of these jokes are clearly wrong, but some joking between medical professionals is not only ethical, it can actually be beneficial, ...

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