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The Psychologist Vol 26 No 4 April 2013

The Psychologist Vol 26 No 4 April 2013

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American author E.B. White once said: 'Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process, and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.' Well, given the audience of fine and pure scientific minds that we have, I thought we would risk it.

I am quite a comedy buff, so it is to my chagrin that we have always struggled to do 'funny' in The Psychologist. I've been in enough late-night conference bars to know that psychologists are a funny lot, but it's not easy to capture that in print. This month we have a bash, with a collection of pieces about humour, comedy and laughter, which will hopefully raise the odd smile to boot. In editing it all, I laughed out loud a fair few times, proving I am not agelastic (word of the month, courtesy of Larry Stern on p.310).

If what you read inspires you to make a contribution to The Psychologist yourself, entertaining or otherwise, why not have a look
at The months are flying by faster than a speeding cabinet minister and your publication needs you!
Dr Jon Sutton

How many  psychologists does it take... to explain a joke?
Christian Jarrett investigates the psychology of humour

This is improbable    
Marc Abrahams, Guardian columnist and founder of the Ig Nobels, or research to make you smile and think

Laughter - the ordinary and the extraordinary    
Is laughter a universal emotion? Sophie Scott investigates

Rich pickings    
Richard Wiseman interviews the comedian Richard Herring

Opinion: No laughing matter    
Mike Page does his bit for the planet in his own inimitable style

Can we be lobbyists for social change?; retirement; intelligence; abortion; unpaid posts; #overlyhonestmethods; humour and health; and more

News and digest
Towards an activity map of the brain; new open access psychology journal; the divided brain; anorexia; the cognitive and social benefits of video games; and nuggets from the Society's free Research Digest service, this month on the psychology of humour

Big picture
Our pull-out poster - funny little man, seriously big points

Meet the Trustees; Annual Conference preview; Spearman Medal; and more

Careers and appointments
We hear from Stephanie Davies on her work with Laughology, and Elizabeth Sullivan on gallows humour

How to think like Sherlock Holmes; Desert Island Discs with Uta Frith; big questions from little people; Derek; Barbican Weekender; and much more

New voices 
Comedy and psychology - a personal perspective. Rob Bailey with the latest in our series for budding writers (see

Looking back
The Worm Runner's Digest - Larry Stern on an extraordinary satirical and subversive journal

One on one
...with comedian, blogger and neuroscientist Dean Burnett

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