The effectiveness of humor in persuasion: The case of business ethics training

Authors
Citation
J. Lyttle, The effectiveness of humor in persuasion: The case of business ethics training, J GEN PSYCH, 128(2), 2001, pp. 206-216
Citations number
41
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-1309 → ACNP
Volume
128
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
206 - 216
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-1309(200104)128:2<206:TEOHIP>2.0.ZU;2-6
Abstract
In this study, persuasion theory was used to develop the following predicti ons about use of humor in persuasive messages for business ethics training: (a) cartoon drawings will enhance persuasion by creating liking for the so urce, (b) ironic wisecracks will enhance persuasion by serving as a distrac tion from counterarguments, and (c) self-effacing humor will enhance persua sion by improving source credibility. Canadian business students (N = 148) participated in 1 of 4 versions of "The Ethics Challenge," a training exerc ise used by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Three versions were modified b y adding or removing cartoon drawings (of cartoon characters Dilbert and Do gbert) and humorous responses (Dogbert's wisecracks). Removing the cartoon drawings had little effect on persuasiveness. Removing ironic wisecracks ha d more effect, and interfering with the self-effacing combination of cartoo ns and wisecracks had the strongest effect. The results suggest that resear chers should ground their predictions in existing theory and that practitio ners should differentiate among humor types.