Being Funny Can Make You More Persuasive

Research conducted over the past 40 years suggests that watching comedians or other funny bits improves people’s capacity to solve problems.

Here’s proof:

• Alice M. Isen, a psychologist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore in the late 1980s, found that people who watched a short series of television ”bloopers” were better able to problem-solve than those who watched a film about math or physically exercised prior to being presented with a problem. 

• The cognitive neuroscientist Mark Beeman found that showing test subjects stand-up routine clips from the late comedian Robin Williams increased the success rate of solving insight problems by 20 percent.

• The journal Neuropsychologia published a study in 2013 by Stanford researchers that linked humor to higher IQ scores.

What does all this mean for your persuasion efforts? Humor helps people make smarter decisions. Being funny (in the right ways) can propel your persuasion attempts as effectively as one of the Roadrunner’s rocket sleds powered by the Acme Corporation.

Give it a try.

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