On how making people laugh boosts perceptions of competence and status

๐Ÿ’Ž On how making people laugh boosts perceptions of competence and status

In one study, some of our colleagues from the Second city retreatโ€”Brad Bitterly, Maurice Schweitzer, and Alison Wood Brooksโ€”recruited participants to write and present testimonials for Visit Switzerland, a fictional travel company. What the group didnโ€™t know is that the first two โ€œparticipantsโ€ who read their testimonials were research assistants. Half of their prewritten testimonials were serious, the other half were funny (eg., serious testimonial โ€œThe mountains are great for skiing and hiking. Itโ€™s amazing!โ€ vs. humorous testimonial โ€œThe mountains are great for skiing and hiking, and the flag is a big plus!โ€). …*

When participants were asked to rate the presenters on a handful of qualities, those presenting the humorous testimonial were perceived as 5 percent more competent, 11 percent more confident, and 37 percent higher in status.

In other words, a six-word throwaway pun at the end of a testimonial meaningfully swung opinions.

Excerpt from: Humour, Seriously: Why Humour Is A Superpower At Work And In Life by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas

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