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VO: This episode of Fun Science is brought to you by Brilliant.
These are the lyrics to the theme song of this very show.
CHARLIE: But despite the fact that I've been making fun science videos for years,
and that I've written an entire Fun Science book, available in all good book stores,
I have never, ever, tried to explore the actual science of fun!
But today that changes, in this episode of...
So, what is fun?
Well, surprisingly, science finds fun hard to define.
Although we know that fun brings enjoyment, not all enjoyment brings fun.
VO: For example, though I quite enjoy listening to classical music,
I wouldn't really describe the experience as fun.
Although, someone else's experience might be different.
CHARLIE: However, although fun is subjective, we all experience it in the same way
when the chemical dopamine is released in our brains.
Now, dopamine evolved as a reward for behavior that benefitted our survival.
So if you do something good for your species, like reproducing, your brain releases dopamine
as if to say, great job, do more of that.
But science also shows us that it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
VO: Take gambling as an example.
It might feel fun to win at first, but when we repeatedly flood our brain with dopamine
in high dosages it can actually change the structure of our brain, and thus our behavior.
This is what can form the makings of an addiction, which definitely is not fun.
CHARLIE: But, provided that it's not excessive, fun can definitely be good for you.
VO: It can help with depression, for example.
Studies show that doing something fun with others, even if you don't initially feel like it
can still improve your mood dramatically.
CHARLIE: And fun can help us to be more creative.
In a study where 1,500 people were asked to list potential uses for a jam jar and a paperclip,
those who ranked themselves as most playful were also able to come up with more ideas,
like this one.
It's a paper clip container.
Pretty fun, right?
VO: Here's a 'fun' fact.
If you can convince your brain that you're going on a run for fun rather than as exercise...
CHARLIE: I'm having a great time!
VO: Then you'll actually be less likely to eat afterwords.
CHARLIE: My run was my reward!
And, while making time for fun is important, apparently we have more fun when leisure activities
are loosely scheduled, say within a set window of time, or better yet completely unplanned--
ANGELINA: Hey Charlie!
I'm kind of busy right now.
ANGELINA: Do you wanna have a backpack fashion parade?
VO: And although it is still fun to have fun all by yourself,
we tend to have more fun when we do things with others, especially if they're our friends.
And what's a common side effect of having fun together?
VO: Laughter.
Scientists believe that laughter is related to the panting sound that animals like chimps
and bonobos make when the engage in rough and tumble play.
It's as if the laughter is there to signal...
CHARLIE: We're just playing and having fun.
ANGELINA: We're not gonna kill each other.
VO: And this signaling is helpful because play can help us to learn things like social rules,
establishing rank, bonding, motor skills, and managing stress.
CHARLIE: And maybe that's the best thing about fun,
and possibly the reason that Fun Science exists in the first place,
because fun makes it easier for us to learn...
So I hope you had fun, and I hope you learnt something,
and if you're looking to learn more science with the help of fun, why not try Brilliant?
VO: The people who built Brilliant understand the important role that fun plays in learning.
They give you fun and challenging problems to solve, getting you hooked on learning actively,
and helping you to master complex concepts.
Brilliant have loads of science courses to explore, but why not start with their science
essentials course and refamiliarize yourself with the basics?
To learn more go to brilliant.org/FunScience and sign up for free, although the first 200
people who go to that link will also get 20% off an annual premium subscription.
Anyway, that's all for today, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you next time.
Bye bye!
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What Is the Science of Fun? | Fun Science

222 Folder Collection
Huahua published on October 22, 2018
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