Different types of humor lead to different outcomes - Deepstash

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The Humor Effect: How Laughing Helps You Remember

Different types of humor lead to different outcomes

The use of positive, nonaggressive humor is associated with 

  • improved learning outcomes, 
  • a relaxed learning environment, 
  • better student evaluations, 
  • an increased motivation to learn, 
  • improved information recall, 
  • an increased degree of student satisfaction throughout the learning process.

The use of negative or aggressive humor, especially if aimed at particular students, will produce the opposite effect.

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The Verbatim Effect

The verbatim effect is a cognitive bias that makes people remember the general outline and meaning of the information that is provided and not the exact, complete details.

Example: While reading a long text, a person can remember what the core message was, but not the entire text.

Why We Experience the Verbatim Effect

There are two main memory processes:

  • Gist Memory concentrates on the core meaning of the information.
  • Verbatim Memory focuses on the surface form or the easily visible part of the information.

The Gist Memory is encoded in a better way because it is an important part of the information, and is not apparent at first, making it desirable and thus easier to retain.

Variance in the Verbatim Effect

The Verbatim Effect varies in its influence on people and may or may not occur in situations, as it depends on several factors like:

  • The individual's preferences, abilities, and experience.
  • The type of information, along with the reason for interacting with the information. A meaningless piece of information will not have any verbatim effect on an individual.
Humor at work
Humor at work

Being funny can have both positive and negative consequences, in your personal as well as your professional life. And context is always important: when making a joke, for instance, you should definitely make sure the moment is appropriate for such a behavior.

Making the good jokes at the proper moment can help you become everybody's favorite at the workplace. However, making a bad joke can lead even to being fired: so make sure to choose your attitude appropriately.

Humor and its effects on the status

Humor and status have always been tightly linked: good leaders seem to often use humor in order to motivate their team members' actions. As individuals, we tend to prefer, researchers claim, jokes that make us laugh while feeling slightly uncomfortable.

Furthermore, we perceive the joke teller as a self-confident person, who could easily become a leader due to his or her courage to make such a joke. The key point here is that the joke should be appropriate and match the context.

Inside jokes

Making inside jokes usually shows how bounded a team or a group is: their jokes can understood the best by themselves.

However, the moment an outsider integrates the group, it is better to avoid the inside jokes, as this will most probably make him or her feel out of place.

The cognitive dissonance theory

Suggests that holding 2 or more contradictory beliefs at the same time causes people to experience mental discomfort, which manifests as psychological stress. 

And people will always seek to minimize their cognitive dissonance and the discomfort it creates.

The Benjamin Franklin effect has generally been explained using cognitive dissonance theory.

Essentially, this means that when someone does you a favor, they need to be able to justify...

The Benjamin Franklin effect has generally been explained using cognitive dissonance theory.

Essentially, this means that when someone does you a favor, they need to be able to justify it to themself, in order to avoid the cognitive dissonance that might occur from doing something nice for someone that they dislike.

The Benjamin Franklin effect

Is a psychological phenomenon that causes us to like someone more after we do that person a favor: We justify our actions to ourselves, that we did them a favor because we liked them.

But the reverse effect is also true - we come to hate our victims, which helps to explain wartime atrocities.