Month: August 2010

Neuromarketing: A potentially useful but expensive way to uncover consumer insights

As a consumer psychologist, I have been intently following the developments in the emerging academic and applied field of neuromarketing. But first, a definition courtesy of Wikipedia (as of 8/25/10): Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing that studies consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic […]

Guest post by Caleb Warren: Humor is more (and less) than incongruity

What makes things funny?  Most think that humor has something to do with incongruity. Incongruity can mean that something is unexpected, like a cloud that farts pistachios. One critic of our recent paper argues forcefully that humor results from this type of incongruity: Another swing-and-a-miss from eggheads trying to explain comedy. Not all comedy stems from […]

What is the most universal type of humor?

The folks at Big Questions Online asked me the question:  “What is the Most Universal Type of Humor?” Here is an excerpt of my answer: My colleague Caleb Warren and I believe that the most universal forms of humor are play fighting and tickling. Our theory, the “benign violation theory,” builds on previous work by […]

The best day to blog

Q: What is the best day to launch a blog post? A: Well, as is usually the case,  it depends on who you ask. I Googled it, and check out what showed up back-to-back: Hmmh. I am going to split the difference and make focal posts on Wednesdays. I will sporadically post other days, if […]

Why study humor? Because it makes people happier, healthier, and…sexier

I want to discuss why it is important to answer a question that has puzzled philosophers, scientists, and comedians since the dawn of Western thought: What makes things funny? To help answer this (tough) question, I recently started the Humor Research Lab (HuRL) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. HuRL is an interdisciplinary research lab […]