Murakami Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Q&A | August 19, 2014

Richard Kadrey: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Richard Kadrey



Describe your latest book. The Getaway God is the sixth book in the Sandman Slim series. In it, the very unholy nephilim, James Stark, aka Sandman... Continue »
  1. $17.49 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$18.08
List price: $26.99
New Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Health and Medicine- History of Medicine

Ha!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why

by

Ha!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Humor, like pornography, is famously difficult to define. We know it when we see it, but is there a way to figure out what we really find funny—and why?

In this fascinating investigation into the science of humor and laughter, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems uncovers whats happening in our heads when we giggle, guffaw, or double over with laughter. While we typically think of humor in terms of jokes or comic timing, in Ha! Weems proposes a provocative new model. Humor arises from inner conflict in the brain, he argues, and is part of a larger desire to comprehend a complex world. Showing that the delight that comes with “getting” a punchline is closely related to the joy that accompanies the insight to solve a difficult problem, Weems explores why surprise is such an important element in humor, why computers are terrible at recognizing whats funny, and why it takes so long for a tragedy to become acceptable comedic fodder. From the role of insult jokes to the benefit of laughing for our immune system, Ha! reveals why humor is so idiosyncratic, and why how-to books alone will never help us become funnier people.

Packed with the latest research, illuminating anecdotes, and even a few jokes, Ha! lifts the curtain on this most human of qualities. From the origins of humor in our brains to its life on the standup comedy circuit, this book offers a delightful tour of why humor is so important to our daily lives.

Review:

"Cognitive neuroscientist Weems takes a crack at explaining humor, what it does to the brain, and what purpose(s) it may serve. He describes the effects of dopamine and how the anterior cingulate, the 'part of the brain responsible for managing conflict,' overrides the 'false expectation' required by many jokes. Weems renders extensive research accessible for a wide audience, citing one study that explored differing attributes of humor across nationality and gender, and another, dubbed 'The Bill Cosby Effect,' that claims comedy's analgesic effect in post-surgical recovery. Weems examines various categories of humor and what they say about human thought and behavior, including 'gallows humor,' 'lawyer jokes,' and meta-humor. He tackles the 'Are women less funny than men?' controversy, notes a study that revealed the tangible negative impact of sexist jokes, outlines personality traits that supposedly contribute to a person's funniness, ponders why computers can't master humor, and investigates how comedic timing operates. In addition to a number of amusing jokes, Weems analyzes notable moments in comedy, including Lenny Bruce's 1961 Carnegie Hall performance and Gilbert Gottfried's notorious 'Aristocrats' routine from the roast of Hugh Hefner. Humor is a difficult, subjective topic of study, and while Weems doesn't present major conclusions, the information is interesting and the commentary insightful. 6 b&w illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Humor, like pornography, is famously difficult to define. We know it when we see it, but is there any way to figure out what we really find funny? In this fascinating investigation into the science of humor and laughter, neuroscientist Scott Weems uncovers whats happening in our heads when we giggle, guffaw, or double over with laughter. Beginning with the premise that humor arises from inner conflict in the brain, Weems explores such issues as why surprise is so important for humor, why computers are terrible at recognizing whats funny, and why cringe-worthy stereotypes make us laugh the hardest. From the role of insult jokes to the benefit of laughing for our immune system responses, Ha! reveals why humor is so idiosyncratic, and why how-to books alone will never help us become funnier people. Packed with the latest research, amusing anecdotes (and even a few jokes), Ha! is a delightful tour of why humor is so important to our daily lives.

About the Author

Scott Weems is a researcher at University of Maryland, with a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA. At the University of Maryland he has built a career studying the neuroscience of behavior, first at the Departments of Computer Science and Neurology, then working full time at the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL). Weems also has an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465031702
Author:
Scott Weems.
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Author:
Weems, Scott
Subject:
Cognitive Psychology
Subject:
Psychology-Cognitive Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20140331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Other books you might like

  1. Lightning Rods New Mass Market $13.50
  2. Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1)
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  3. Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  4. The Men Who Stare at Goats Used Trade Paper $6.50
  5. The Devil All the Time
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  6. The Martian
    New Mass Market $13.50

Related Subjects

Children's » General
Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Law » General

Ha!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.08 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Basic Books (AZ) - English 9780465031702 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Cognitive neuroscientist Weems takes a crack at explaining humor, what it does to the brain, and what purpose(s) it may serve. He describes the effects of dopamine and how the anterior cingulate, the 'part of the brain responsible for managing conflict,' overrides the 'false expectation' required by many jokes. Weems renders extensive research accessible for a wide audience, citing one study that explored differing attributes of humor across nationality and gender, and another, dubbed 'The Bill Cosby Effect,' that claims comedy's analgesic effect in post-surgical recovery. Weems examines various categories of humor and what they say about human thought and behavior, including 'gallows humor,' 'lawyer jokes,' and meta-humor. He tackles the 'Are women less funny than men?' controversy, notes a study that revealed the tangible negative impact of sexist jokes, outlines personality traits that supposedly contribute to a person's funniness, ponders why computers can't master humor, and investigates how comedic timing operates. In addition to a number of amusing jokes, Weems analyzes notable moments in comedy, including Lenny Bruce's 1961 Carnegie Hall performance and Gilbert Gottfried's notorious 'Aristocrats' routine from the roast of Hugh Hefner. Humor is a difficult, subjective topic of study, and while Weems doesn't present major conclusions, the information is interesting and the commentary insightful. 6 b&w illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
Humor, like pornography, is famously difficult to define. We know it when we see it, but is there any way to figure out what we really find funny? In this fascinating investigation into the science of humor and laughter, neuroscientist Scott Weems uncovers whats happening in our heads when we giggle, guffaw, or double over with laughter. Beginning with the premise that humor arises from inner conflict in the brain, Weems explores such issues as why surprise is so important for humor, why computers are terrible at recognizing whats funny, and why cringe-worthy stereotypes make us laugh the hardest. From the role of insult jokes to the benefit of laughing for our immune system responses, Ha! reveals why humor is so idiosyncratic, and why how-to books alone will never help us become funnier people. Packed with the latest research, amusing anecdotes (and even a few jokes), Ha! is a delightful tour of why humor is so important to our daily lives.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.