Skip to main content

Fun Facts About Comedy In Educational Settings: Studies Discussed in Episode 2 of (mostly) TRUE THINGS podcast

Episode 2 of the (mostly) TRUE THINGS podcast featured an interview and story by the hilarious and always-interesting comic Stevie GB, who took this "3 studies" quiz about research into the role of laughter in learning very, very seriously. He analyzed each one in a very thoughtful, as well as entertaining, way. Maybe its just fun to listen to him talk and to his mental process. You can hear the podcast by clicking on the link above, and then check out this interesting research about the very serious way that humor boosts learning, reduces anxiety and stress in the classroom, and encourages students to take initiative in their education.
Next live performance: Sat. Nov. 14, 2015  7 pm
Buy tickets online for $10 - $15 at the door (cash only)

One study pointing to humor's benefits appeared in College Teaching (Vo. 54, No. 1, pages 177-180).  This research showed that students were more likely to remember information shared in a statistics lecture when it was laced with relevant comedy. ""Well-planned, appropriate, contextual humor can help students ingrain information," explains Dr. Randy Garner, Phd, who conducted and published the research. In his introduction to psychology course Dr. Garner uses TV programs like the audition episodes from "American Idol" to demonstrate such psychological concepts as self-handicapping and selection bias.

A 2012 study published in the journal Humor: International Journal of Humor Research found that students performed better on a math test - because they felt less anxiety - after being exposed to comedic material both prior to taking the test and through funny test items inserted into it. 

A study published in the journal Communication Education - reported here in an article titled "How Laughter Leads To Learning" on the website of the American Psychological Association - found that students perceive instructors who are funny as being more competent. The authors point out that delivery of the comedic material matters,that to be effective it has to be relevant to the material and make it more memorable, as well as lighten the mood in the classroom. 

Communications researcher Jennings Bryant, PhD, who worked as a script consultant for Sesame Street and The Electric Company and is now with the Institute for Communications Research at the University of Alabama and his colleague Dolf Zillman, Phd of Indiana University published the results of their examination of 22 studies that looked at the impact of humor used in educational settings. Their findings definitely support the use of humor that is "attuned to the audience's knowledge." 

So teachers, trainers, educators at every level - feel free to bring the funny to the classroom and improve students' retention and memory while keeping a positive energy to the entire learning process. Stories, even serious ones with a big moral or message, are enhanced by inserting laughs into them along the way. If you want some inspiration, go see Stevie GB in one of his upcoming shows! Follow him on his Facebook page to keep up with all of his shows. 

Be sure to look for Episode 3 of (mostly) TRUE THINGS podcast to find out whether Stevie was telling an entirely or mostly true story in Episode 2.

Jude Treder-Wolff is the host and creator of (mostly) TRUE THINGS the storytelling show and podcast. She is a consultant/trainer and writer/performer. Follow her on Twitter @JuTrWolff.


Popular posts from this blog

Improvisation Games & Exercises For Developing Emotional Intelligence

    Since September Lifestage has been offering a monthly training workshop exploring the use of improvisation to develop Emotional Intelligence . These workshops have been geared toward the work done by clinicians, educators and trainers who guide the process of personal change or professional development, but as it turns out we have enjoyed some interesting diversity among the participants -  managers, business owners with both employees and customers, community activists, and performers.      Below is a collection of the exercises we have used in the workshops, accompanied by some studies that supports their use.  by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP       Why Improvisation? Improvisation is a powerful way to become aware of mental habits and patterns. Reflecting on our inner experiences after engaging in an improvisation exercise provides an opportunity to decide whether our mental habits are effective and useful or self-limiting and obsolete.  The tensions of the crea

WARM-UP EXERCISES FOR GROUP WORK - For Therapeutic, Educational or Training Groups

Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP , Director of Training at Lifestage, Inc and Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP, Trainer/consultant and writer/performer. Follow on twitter @JuTrWolff         “To begin assembly one must have the right attitude,” goes a Japanese instruction for assembling a particular object, as quoted in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. The "right attitude" is one that best serves the action we are preparing to engage in, j ust as an athlete warms up his/her muscles before using them in the stress of a work-out or game. Psychological and emotional "muscles" that are properly warmed up will perform more effectively and make it less likely that we will experience strain or allow fear to produce a shut-out when things get rolling.     The right warm-up makes everything learned in a training situation or classroom more accessible and immediately useful to the trainee/student. New skills and knowledge - in education, personal growth or a profe

Stories To Light Up The Night: An Interview With International Teacher/Trainer, Storyteller and Author Susan Perrow

        "It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you." Ben Okri, Birds of Heaven Stories can change your life and when they do you almost never see it coming. The way a story gets into our consciousness is often subtle and suprising. Something about it sticks. And if we allow the story to do its work it sticks exactly where we need it. This is true of both receiving a story and making one. The skills required to weave together character, conflict and color to create a vivid and imagination-grabbing tale that is also transformative takes time, training and experience to develop. It helps to be familiar with the impact of stories on our own inner life, recovery and growth. It helps also to have an inspiring, gifted teacher to guide the process.        Such was my experience in April at a full-day wo