Dr Nathan Emery's seminar is titled: A Comparative Psychology of Fun & Games. The seminar will begin at 1pm in the Old Library.
Despite being an essential part of modern human life, with innumerable benefits to physical and mental health and wellbeing, fun has received scant attention from psychological research. In this talk, I propose a number of ways to begin a comparative study of play behaviour in animals and adult humans, especially focusing on games as a psychological tool. I will describe some of our studies investigating the play behaviour of corvids and parrots, including how they play different problem-solving games. I will then present a taxonomy of different game design mechanics in human tabletop games and how they could be studied within a cognitive framework.