Last month I was asked to write an essay for a forthcoming issue of the journal Current Biology that will be concerned with the biology of fun. I was surprised that a professional journal would concern itself with this topic but equally pleased so I decided to write on play behavior because when animals -- human and nonhuman -- play it's clear they are happy and having fun.
Last month I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. June Gruber, now at Yale University but who soon will be my colleague at the University of Colorado. She is interested in the negative consequences of being "too happy" and we've had great discussions about the evolution of nonhuman animal (animal) and human animal emotions. June also introduced me to a paper by Arizona State University's Randolph Neese called "Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness" in which Dr. Neese writes about the field called "diagonal psychology" that "considers the dangers of unwarranted positive states and the benefits of negative emotions in certain situations". I was thrilled to learn about Dr. Neese's essay and to see that he is continuing to take an evolutionary approach to the study of human emotions (for more on this topic please see here, and here).