The Psychology of Bad News

Every day we are inundated with stories about the most horrific acts and events that have taken place in the world. It’s common knowledge that ‘bad news sells’ – but what is it about bad news that makes it interesting and readable? It seems counter-intuitive that people’s minds would be primed to seek out information…View Post

Why Do Humans Cry?

Crying as a response to an emotional state has always been seen as something uniquely human. There is, however, some debate as to whether elephants display the same kind of behaviour. We know that elephants do cry, but whether they cry in response to loss, grief or sadness is more contentious. Based on the behaviour…View Post

The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis Paints a Different Picture of Human Evolution

The aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH) proposes that our evolutionary ancestors, at some point, adapted to a semi-aquatic existence. This challenges the consensus view that our ancestors left an arboreal (tree-dwelling) habitat and then continued to evolve in the terrestrial habitat of the African savannah. One of the most passionate proponents of the AAH is the…View Post

Gift Economy: Living Without Money

A gift economy is a model of exchange where valuables or some commodity is given away without an agreement for an immediate or future reward. Every transaction involves either giving or receiving gifts and presents. In a gift economy, there is no money and there is no private property. At first sight, a gift economy seems…View Post

Why Did Humour and Laughter Evolve?

People will have different opinions about what is funny and what isn’t; what makes them laugh and what doesn’t. But we do know that humour and laughter exist, so the mysterious question surrounding this fact is: how did they evolve? Is there really some evolutionary advantage to finding ‘humour’ (however you define it) in social…View Post