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