Funny Meetings Produce Better, More Creative Ideas
Humor begets humor, and laughter results in more open teamwork and more creative ideas.
Humor begets humor, and laughter results in more open teamwork and more creative ideas. These conclusions were reached by the first study of its kind to observe real professional meetings and code them according to humor and laughter.
Just published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers examined 54 regular organizational team meetings and examined the behavioral patterns of each meetings' participants.
Two important observations occurred at frequencies that elevated them above chance occurrences. Once a joke was told, the frequency of laughter and the telling of more jokes (followed by more laughter) increased. In addition, researchers found that "humor patterns triggered positive socioemotional communication, procedural structure, and new solutions."
Crucially, humor patterns defined the success of funny team meetings, rather than humor or laughter alone. In other words, the teams worked better when all the professionals laughed along and encouraged the humor of others.
Responding to the study, Alex Fradera of the British Psychological Society wrote:
"The repeated importance of humor in tandem with laughter suggest that it’s not purely elevated mood or a quality of wannabe jokers, but a more dynamic give and take between team members that makes the difference."
In the moments after the laughter of a joke-laughter-joke chain died down, teams were more likely to engage in open, productive behaviors like proposing new ideas, asking questions, offering praise, and encouraging the participation of others.
The power of funny is very real, according to The New Yorker cartoonist Robert Mankoff. During his Big Think interview, Mankoff explained that being able to make people laugh demonstrates you have a different way of looking at the world and that you can inspire others to do the same, disrupting current models and stagnant points of view:
"So I think early on and throughout that I felt that humor was sort of my thing; my way to shift the balance of power that no matter what situation I was in; no matter how the power seemed to range that humor could, at least temporarily, put the banana peel under their shoe."
Young people could even end up less anxiety-ridden, thanks to newfound confidence
- The coronavirus pandemic may have a silver lining: It shows how insanely resourceful kids really are.
- Let Grow, a non-profit promoting independence as a critical part of childhood, ran an "Independence Challenge" essay contest for kids. Here are a few of the amazing essays that came in.
- Download Let Grow's free Independence Kit with ideas for kids.
Edward Snowden lists services that will protect your privacy with just a few downloads.
We must rethink the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental health.
- A new review found that withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants and antipsychotics can last for over a year.
- Side effects from SSRIs, SNRIs, and antipsychotics last longer than benzodiazepines like Valium or Prozac.
- The global antidepressant market is expected to reach $28.6 billion this year.
Or is doubt a self-fulfilling prophecy?