Gil Greengross

BS in Behavioral Sciences (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) MS Statistics (University of New Mexico) MS Evolutionary Anthropology (University of New Mexico) PhD Evolutionary Anthropology (University of New Mexico)., Dr

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20082023

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I am originally from Israel, where I received my undergraduate degree in psychology, anthropology and sociology. I earned my Master's degree in statistics and a PhD in evolutionary anthropology from the University of New Mexico.

I am an evolutionary psychologist, studying the evolutionary roots of everyday behaviours and emotions. My main area of research focuses on the evolution of humour and laughter, what makes people laugh, and how humour is used in mating and mate choice. My work is largely interdisciplinary and is drawn from psychology, anthropology, biology and consumer behaviour. I also have a strong interest in studying people with extreme creative abilities, such as stand-up comedians, magicians, and other artists. I look forward to engaging students in teaching and research on these subjects.

Research interests

My main areas of research are evolutionary psychology and psychology of humour and laughter. I take an interdisciplinary approach to understand humour and other everyday behaviours using established theories within the evolutionary paradigm, such as sexual selection and life history.

In my humour research, I study why people use and enjoy humour, individual and sex difference in humour production and appreciation, and specifically the importance of humour to mating and mate choice. I also study people with extreme humour abilities, such as stand-up comedians and improv artists, further aiming to understand the roots of sense of humour and the creative mind.

Other research interests include creativity and intelligence, positive psychology, behavioural genetics, marketing and consumer behaviour, quantitative methods and statistics, and philosophy of science. I am currently studying the psychology of magic and magicians, and a twin study on the heritability of humour.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

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