Emotions

What are the health benefits of laughter? What is happening in the brain when you're in love? What are the effects of isolation on the mind? Find out in these articles about human emotion.

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Scientists know that the brain's reward center teaches humans that certain behaviors lead to pleasure, but what about those that lead to pain? A clue lies in the fact that pain isn't just a physical sensation, but an emotional and psychological one as well.

By Josh Clark

We hear news of violent acts of all sorts committed by humans every day. But how do we become violent? Is it something we learn, or are people violent at birth? And is there anything that can stop it?

By Jonathan Strickland

Humans can express emotion in a variety of ways, from the written word to spoken communication. But what is it about music and art in particular that has the power to move us?

By Josh Clark

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Why do we get mad when we get hit, or get sad when we're disappointed? Are the emotions we feel physical responses to our environments or manifestations of physical changes? There's a lot less debate on the subject than you'd think.

By Josh Clark

Touch can be a very powerful thing that can dredge up all kinds of intense feelings. The lightest touch in the right place can induce laughter in the most taciturn people. Why?

By Josh Clark

Think musicals are cheesy? You're not alone. But even the most cynical among us can't deny that hearing a favorite song can completely change our mood.

By Molly Edmonds

Money can buy important stuff like food and shelter, which brings a smile to anyone's face. But after you cross a certain financial threshold, how much happier can a new Jaguar and a Versace bag really make you?

By Jennifer Horton

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People love chocolate. They eat it to drown their sorrows and to celebrate love -- some might say it's even better than sex. Chocolate clearly helps people feel good, but can it actually get you high?

By Josh Clark

Whether you belt out a tune in the shower, at a karaoke bar or in a choir, singing has some real, tangible health benefits. But can it also make you happy?

By Julia Layton

Would you be happier if you had the perfect body? A better job? A bigger paycheck? Being happy with yourself is less about the pursuit of happiness and more about finding it within you.

By Shanna Freeman

Predicting the future is a tricky business. We've long been promised flying cars and robot maids, only to be disappointed year after year. What might the crystal ball have in store for us in 2050?

By Molly Edmonds

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Of course they can. They do it every day when they wag and meow their undying love for you. Why are pets such a solid prescription for smiles?

By Jennifer Horton

We talk about morals in relation to raising children, voting for political candidates and criticizing people who don't see eye-to-eye with us. But is morality even a choice? Or is it all in your head?

By Molly Edmonds

There are people who are smart, and there are people who are people-smart. The guy you want in your think tank isn't necessarily the same person you want at your birthday party. But can emotional intelligence say more about your brain than IQ can?

By Molly Edmonds

Laugh and the world laughs with you, the saying goes. In our image gallery, experience the range of human emotions from around the world.

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We've all seen the effects that hatred has on our society, but just what is this destructive emotion? And can it be overcome?

By Alia Hoyt

Everyone's familiar with the green-eyed monster called jealousy. But why do people have those feelings?

By Alia Hoyt & Sascha Bos

Ignorance is bliss. But what if you're more than just unaware? If you are dumb as a doornail, flat-out foolish or dim-witted, are you happier than the genius next door?

By Cristen Conger

Laughter may be the best medicine, but can it actually cure an illness? Some doctors are prescribing a daily case of the giggles along with conventional treatments.

By Victoria Vogt

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The Declaration of Independence is one of the most significant documents in American history. However, the origin of one of its signature phrases -- the pursuit of happiness -- is shrouded in mystery.

By Josh Clark

Marriage entails waking up beside the one you love and sharing cozy, homemade dinners for two. But when the honeymoon haze clears, are married people happier than singles?

By Cristen Conger

How does a laughter milkshake sound? What about a joy cocktail? Though the former may sound like part of a kid's meal and the latter like a happy hour order, they're both related to laughter yoga.

By Molly Edmonds

If you want to quantify how happy someone is, do you count the number of smiles he or she cracks in a single day? Some researchers are stumped as to how happiness can be measured.

By Cristen Conger

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The authors of chain emails often tell you to smile more, with the added claim that it takes more muscles to frown. Ever questioned this piece of wisdom? We have an answer for you.

By Tom Scheve

Smiling isn't complicated: your mouth turns up, your cheeks lift and your eyes crinkle. You're happy and it shows. But can every smile -- even a fake one -- spread that cheerful feeling?

By Julia Layton