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Effects of Humor on Persuasion

Dorothy Markiewicz
Sociometry
Vol. 37, No. 3 (Sep., 1974), pp. 407-422
DOI: 10.2307/2786391
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786391
Page Count: 16
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Effects of Humor on Persuasion
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Abstract

An information-processing analysis is used in examining humor's effects on the attitude change process. Generally: humor integral to or adjacent to a persuasive message does not influence persuasion significantly; humor's effects on comprehension and source evaluations are inconsistent; and retention does not appear to be altered by humor usage. Severe methodological problems with prior research include inadequate control messages, questionable humor manipulations, inappropriate settings for receipt of humor, limited subject populations, and blatant demand characteristics. Many of these problems plague persuasion research in general. Two theoretical approaches, learning theory and distraction effects, offer requisite guidance for future investigators.

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