The Persuasive Power of Humor…and Frogs?

A study conducted by Karen O’Quinn and Joel Aronoff demonstrated,

yet again, the potential power of a little humor to help persuade

people. In the study, participants had to negotiate with a seller

over the purchase price of a painting. The seller made a final

sales offer in one of two ways: half the time the seller said

he’d accept $6,000, the other half of the time he gave the same

final offer, but this time he added a little humor by offering to

throw in his pet frog. The impact of a little humor had a huge

effect. Regardless of gender and regardless of the degree to which

the seller’s final price was above the amount originally offered,

would be buyers made a much greater compromise when offered the pet

frog. So, either everyone in the study had a 10 year-old boy at

home, or, as the study authors suggest, the humorous aside helped

relax the buyers and put them in a more generous frame of mind.

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Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Look for fun opportunities to cheer on your local sports’ teams.

The Boston Pizza restaurant chain has temporarily rebranded its

62 B.C. restaurants as Vancouver Pizza to support the Vancouver

Canucks hockey team in their run for the Stanley Cup. The idea

was conceived more than a year ago when the marketing folks at

Boston Pizza realized that it might be a possibility for Boston

to face off against Vancouver. It’s a simple, fun and inexpensive

idea that will likely generate enormous publicity for the pizza

chain. So look for creative, fun ways to tie into events, including

your local home town minor league sporting events!

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Quote of the Week

“Businesses have a misguided sense that work and play are opposites.  If you can make the work intellectually challenging and you have a worthwhile goal in mind, it’s very much like play.”  Tom Kelly,   Cofounder IDEO Design

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It’s a Wacky World

If you were thinking of getting a cat, here’s an alternative to

consider: the Japanese company Neurowear has created a headband

with cat ears that move and wiggle like real cat ears in response

to your emotional state by reading your brainwaves. What next?

Catnip for humans? (Oh wait, I guess we already have that!)

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Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com

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