Jennifer Aaker: Power of Humor


Video Transcript

Disneyland is a paradox because let’s be
honest it can be miserable with long
lines expensive tickets and kids having
meltdowns when our family went there a
few years ago my son Cooper later
recalled the experience in our annual
holiday card by recounting episodes of
heatstroke and vomiting followed by a
long silent car ride home yet he
concluded his story by stating quite
sincerely we can’t wait to go back why
is this how come when we look back on
things like family vacations we hardly
remember the sad or stressful moments
and instead recall the happy ones
one answer is laughter it releases
endorphins that allow us to endure and
even triumph over negative emotions in
pain laughter and the ability to find
humor in bad situations is what can
explain the Disney paradox laughter
helps to make negative moments fake the
laughter is power extends well beyond
making amusement parks tolerable studies
show that it can increase creativity
improve health and strengthen
relationships all of which can have a
positive effect in the business world as
well first let’s look how humor enhances
creativity psychologist Ellis Eisen and
her colleagues asked participants to
watch a short video and then solve a
classic creativity challenge where
people are given a candle a box of tags
and some matches and then asked to
attach the candle to the wall in such a
way the wax doesn’t drip on the table
below when the candles licked the answer
is that you can use the box containing
the tacks to hold candle half of the
participants watched a neutral video the
others watched a funny video only 20% of
the participants in the neutral
conditions solved the problem but
three-quarters of those and the funny
condition did
it’s not that laughter made the second
group smarter it’s that it allowed them
to relax more and feel emotionally safer
humor loosened up their mind and help
them to see connections we previously
missed next let’s look at help
in one study Michael Miller and his
colleagues showed a set of participants
to 15 minute movie segments 48 hours
apart the first was a scene from the
stressful war movie Saving Private Ryan
then two days later a clip from the
humorous comedy kingpin the participants
blood flow is measured before the study
and after each viewing session with
dramatic results blood flow decreased by
35% after the stressful clip and
increased 22% after the funny one keep
this in mind if your objective is a
better immune system finally let’s look
at relationships
Torres Pezzini and her colleagues
recruited couples to participate in a
study they asked some of the couples to
reminisce about the times when they
laugh together other couples were asked
to reminisce about shared memories and
made them feel good about their
relationship at the end of the study the
researchers measured how satisfy the
couples were in their relationship the
results showed the couples who recall
times when they laugh together were more
satisfied than those who were called
shared positive memories laughing
together have made their hearts grow
fonder so why is humor so powerful one
reason is that laughter releases
endorphins which can increase pain
in one study Robin Dunbar in his
colleagues tested the pain threshold of
participants by wrapping their arms in a
tightening blood-pressure cuff until the
individual said they couldn’t take it
then they showed participants video
clips have getting to see something
funny and the other half a documentary
pain tolerance increased by 10% for the
funny viewers
so humor seems to make us more creative
and healthier and it helps us to develop
stronger relationships this doesn’t mean
you should show clips from your favorite
comedy to break up a tense meeting but
it does mean that leaders should allow
humor to flourish whenever they can your
teams will appreciate it they may even
say they can’t wait to go back

Video Description

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Author: dhobson