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Stories of Impact

Stories of new scientific research on human flourishing that translate these basic discoveries into practical tools.

Apr 2, 2024

Any sentient, soulful being paying attention to the way humans are treating other humans has been feeling these hard times. But sometimes, amidst all this darkness, humor can offer a little bit of hope.

Today we're back with a friend of the podcast, Dr. Erica Cartmill. You might remember her from past episodes as a leader in the science of diverse intelligences, the multi-disciplinary, open science study of cognition, whether it's found in humans, animals, plants, machines, or anywhere else. This time, we’re talking with Dr. Cartmill about the violation of expectations as a feature of primate intelligence, or in more down-to-earth terms: Funny monkeys. Actually, monkeys isn't technically right — it's actually apes.

What Dr. Cartmill and her fellow researchers have discovered, in a study they call “The Humor Project," is that humans and apes share a lot of traits, including what we think is funny.