We all grow up with play experiences, which help us through childhood. However as adults, many of us don’t play very much or possibly not at all. Brown believes that play is not only important, but it is essential as every stage of life.

Why you should listen:

Dr. Stuart Brown came to research play through research on murderers — unlikely as that seems — after he found a stunning common thread in killers’ stories: lack of play in childhood. Since then, he’s interviewed thousands of people to catalog their relationships with play, noting a strong correlation between success and playful activity. His book Play describes the impact play can have on one’s life.

Who is he:

Stuart Brown’s research shows play is not just joyful and energizing — it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence. Through the National Institute for Play, he’s working to better understand its significance. With the support of the National Geographic Society and Jane Goodall, he has observed animal play in the wild, where he first conceived of play as an evolved behavior important for the well-being — and survival — of animals, especially those of higher intelligence. Now, through his organization, the National Institute for Play, he hopes to expand the study of human play into a vital science — and help people everywhere enjoy and participate in play throughout life.


  1. Brown shows us how predation can change to play in the story of the _______and the ________ .
  1. Brown uses the story of Charles Whitman to illustrate how the suppression of normal play throughout childhood can harm development and even have tragic results.
    A) True
    B) False
  1. Brown suggests that even as early as mother- infant smiling cooing and babbling has important effects in stimulating __________ brain development.
  1. Brown shows that the important linkage between object play – working with manipulation of things, such as fixing a car, and problem solving is so necessary to develop this skill that a least on business screens for is when hiring.
    A) True
    B) False
  1. Brown says the opposite of play is not work but depression. As a psychologist do you think you should tell depressed patients just to go play?
  1. Brown says than a significant difference between humans and animals is in our neoteny. What does he mean by this?

Play is more than just fun with Stuart Brown


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