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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Been Told You're Too Sensitive? You Might Be an Empath

Emotionally sensitive people sometimes get a bad rap from others. But being an empath can be a gift, as long as you take care of it. So how do you know if you're one?

Can Science Explain Why We Kiss With Our Eyes Closed?

Maybe. A study that wasn't even about kissing turned out to (sort of) give the answer.

Why Do People Keep Flaking Out?

It's not just your imagination — people feel freer to bail out on others at the last minute than they used to. But why?

Regrets, We’ve Had a Few — But Why?

Ever had a "woulda, shoulda, coulda" feeling about something? It's called regret. What really triggers this emotion — and can we trust it?

Mothers Prefer Daughters, Fathers Prefer Sons, Study Says

A new study shows that mothers prefer daughters and fathers prefer sons, regardless of economic background, contradicting an earlier well-known hypothesis.

Do Rainy Days Really Get You Down?

Dark, cloudy skies and the drumbeat of raindrops on our windows tend to make people feel sad and forlorn, or at least that's what we have come to assume.

The Benefits of Talking About Yourself in the Third Person

What do Donald Trump, Bob Dole and LeBron James have in common? A tendency to talk about themselves in the third person. But is it just egotism or is there a hidden benefit to saying your name rather than "I"?

Colombia, Not Finland, May Be the Happiest Country in the World

The Scandinavian countries tend to come out on top in the World Happiness Report. But the report doesn't actually ask participants if they're happy. When that question is included, the country rankings are quite different.

Why It Feels So Good To Be Scared

It's already a scary world. Why do we seek to experience more fear?

Swearing Makes You Stronger, Study Finds

Yes, there might be another reason we reach for expletives when we're under stress.

How Empathy Works

Empathy is an important emotion that enables healthy relationships and fosters the development of a safe, secure world. But what happens when someone has too little — or too much?

What Makes Clowns So Creepy?

The recent unsettling spate of clowns disturbing America isn't the first time freaky greasepaint bozos weirded people out.

Now We're Stressed Out? History Shows It's the Oldest Emotion

New book says mental exhaustion has been with us since antiquity.

The Odd Empathy of Vicarious Embarrassment

If you're watching someone embarrass themselves on TV, it might make you squirm or even change the channel. But hey, at least you're empathetic.

Anatomy of a Laugh

A good guffaw involves way more than just sputtering a few hearty hee-hees.

American Horror Story: What Do Americans Fear the Most?

Here's a hint: You're more likely to find one haunting a backroom than an attic.

Is 'hangry' a real emotion?

Your stomach is growling, your boss is demanding and the cereal you ate for breakfast is a distant memory. Could having a little snack save you from (unwisely) screaming at your supervisor?

How do you criticize something without being a jerk?

No one likes being told they've done wrong, whether it's from a boss, spouse or parent. How can you do a better job of giving "constructive criticism" without coming across as obnoxious?

Do we remember bad times better than good?

Most people would recall every detail of being held up in a bank robbery but not so well the details of their last birthday party. The brain is wired for recalling trauma for a very good reason.

How Hate Works

Aristotle defined hate as a dislike so intense that whoever feels it wants to cause another person real harm. What is going on in our brains when we hate? And can hate ever be a good thing?

Why do we remember pain?

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.

Why do we kill?

There's no doubt that humans are a violent species. The real question is: Why? Are some people wired differently than others? Is it a matter of survival? Or are we just taking our frustrations out on others in violent ways?

In the Pursuit of Happiness Pictures

It's hard to say what makes people happy because we are all very different. It also could be a lot of things, such as health, relationships at home, hobbies or spirituality. View pictures of people in the pursuit of happiness here.

Why are we violent?

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?

Why are humans altruistic?

Why do we help others, even if we know it will hurt us? As it turns out, the concepts of altruism and selfishness may be linked -- much more so than we thought.