According to the Benign Violation Theory, humor has its roots in potentially negative experiences (i.e., violations) that are made to seem okay in some way (i.e., benign). That makes joke telling risky because you can fail by being too benign or by creating too much of a violation.
Ironically, both psychopaths and Tibetan monks detect deep emotions that are invisible to others. Psychopaths are much better at recognizing "those telltale signs in the gait of traumatized assault victims," notes The Wisdom of Psychopaths author, Kevin Dutton.
Dan Ariely's latest book applies his experimental approach to how we "lie to everyone -- especially ourselves." He asks us to remember our fallibility and irrationality, so that we might protect ourselves against our tendency to fool ourselves.
As a society, we have been systematically wired and re-wired to abhor failure. But amongst all of this stigmatisation we have forgotten one fundamental fact: the greatest innovations arise from a process of trial and error.
The adult industry has been a long time proponent of our right to Free Speech, and from the days of Naked Lunch, to the more recent battle over required condom use, Americans have been trying to define what is pornographically acceptable for years.
Consciousness -- awareness, intentionality and self-knowledge -- has become a rich source of scientific inquiry. Interestingly, these ideas also have deep resonance with teachings found within Jewish tradition.
Most Americans realize that the U.S. has become more unequal over the past three decades or so. But it's unlikely that most Americans have a full grasp of the sheer magnitude of the change in the distribution of wealth since the end of the 1970.
In 1890, J.P. Morgan pulled in close to 20 times what his employees did annually. Today, CEOs earn more in three hours than minimum wage workers do in a year. This imbalance is both irresponsible and irrational.