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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Humor Makes It Memorable

Ever wonder why so many radio and TV commercials are humorous? It is because psychologists have found that humor makes things more memorable. Steven Schmidt at MIddle Tenessee State U. conducted a study with 38 undergraduates. He had them read sentences such as "There are three ways a man can wear his hair: parted, unparted, and departed." He also had them read two versions of the same point that were not humorus. Students remembered the funny sentences better than the straight ones.

Ron Berk, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins, has even written a book for teachers, entitled "Humor as an Instructional Defibrillator." He cites many examples of how teachers can be more effective if what they teach is presented with humor.

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