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Meta-Analysis of Humor Effects on Persuasion

Mon, May 29, 9:30 to 10:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo 204B

Abstract

Despite its long history in communication, scholars continue to debate whether humor enhances or undermines persuasive attempts. In order to better understand the conditions under which the effects of humor vary, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies across the domains in which humor has been popularly used over time (k = 93). Results indicate that humor has only a weak influence on persuasion in general (r = .15). However, stronger effects are recorded for studies in education (r = .35) and marketing (r = .18), as well as for messages that incorporate related-humor (r = .28), use parody (r = .28) or surprise (r = .19), and measure effects on knowledge (r = .31). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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