In the course we’ve studied humor and persuasion, and how humor can be deliver in many different styles. If used effectively, humor and persuasion can have positive outcome; however, if not used correctly the opposite is true. It’s very important to know that there are different persuasive methodologies that can be used to influence behavior. You can influence an outcome based on the persuasion attempt, but there are other factors in the persuasion episode that must be considered in any persuasion attempt (The persuasion knowledge model (PKM; Friestad & Wright, 1994). In the previous chapters we learned that persuasion plays a big part when communicating a message. Researcher’s state that persuasion is when one person attempts to change or alter another person’s view point on a certain issue or topic. For example, every day I pick up my son up from school, and we always stop by McDonald’s. I don’t really care for anything on McDonald’s menu other than their fish sandwich, so I always order that while my son orders something different every time. One day while ordering our food, my son told me that I was really boring, and that I should try something else for a change. “In fact,” he told me, “one day you are going to turn into a fish.” I laughed and thought to myself that I hadn’t tried anything else on the menu for years. That day I ordered a Quarter Pounder with cheese, and I enjoyed it. My son affected the outcome by using humor to influence my behavior. As I write this paper, I will look at different ways to use humor to persuade. People respond in different ways to the same persuasive message, and in Chapter 6 we see that persuasive message’s can have different effects on different people. It depends on how strongly the message is delivered, and the person’s ability to attend to the message. (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986)
Persuasive communication can be used in many different ways and can play a big role when trying to convince someone of a point of view. Communication is very important and can change someone attitude and behavior approach if used correctly. Now when using humor communication can be used in staff meeting or even talking to friends via social media. This method can be used in many different ways, for example, it can break the ice when talking to a tough crowd, or talking to a love one about something that was said that wasn’t funny but it came off like it was and it offended someone. Also, it can be presented good or bad just depend on the person delivery. When cracking a joke to a friend that doesn’t have a sense of humor can be hard for example, I told my friend that if he let me borrow $20 dollars I will in return give him $50 dollars. Although, I was joking it was hard to stay with a straight face knowing I was joking just to get a reaction. Laughter naturally puts people in a good mood. According to (Cline, T, & Kellaris, J., 1999 “It is believable that humor can have either a methodical or heuristic dispensation depending on the method of the humor being used to support the joke. This method of laughter can turn someone’s attitude around and in up having a better day for example, to see my sister and I laugh for a moment could seem weird to most people because we don’t really get along. My family would probably get excited to see us laughing and getting along for the moment because that’s someone that they haven’t seen in many years. Humor can be very pleasant for a number of different reasons such as it can relieve stress, uneasy tension, and releasing anger can avoid having a heart attack. Humor can sometime allow for the others person to let their guard down when they feel that you have their best interest with them and showing laugher with one another can find it easier to persuade others when conversation is flowing easily.
Now, you also have to be very careful using your sense of humor because it can have a downside when using persuasion and humor in your conversation as strange as it sounds. However, there are some people who have dry humor and doesn’t like it when a person tries to use dry humor to persuade them of something. If not used correctly it could come across as that person trying to be “fake or rude”. For example, my sister and I haven’t spoken to each other for many years and she most definitely doesn’t have a sense of humor at all. For me to send her a message in a joking way probably wouldn’t go well. I would probably need to choose the most appropriate tool to use to communicate to her. If I choose a message like group text more than likely that message probably wouldn’t come off being rude to offend her because it would be sent to a group text. Although, I would get a kick out of it I wouldn’t single her out. But my parent told me if I can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all. The person relaying the message must be very conscious as to know when to use acceptable humor in a conversation and not use it around controversial people. You have to be careful that it doesn’t backfire on you. If it comes off wrong it can make a person not trust you and the other person can shut you out and your point of view will not be taking seriously.
One theory that can be associated with persuasion in communication is Self -Talk Theory. This theory which people tend to develop when they talk to themselves when they find themselves only with no one to talk too. For example, I drive 30 miles to work each day and most of the time I’m stuck in traffic. As I sit there in traffic, I find myself talking to myself to pass time. By adding humor into conversation will encourage positive thoughts with another as the two or group continues to talk about the same topic.
Social Judgment theory is another communication method that can be used to demonstrate how people review persuasive messages and how such evaluations affect whether or not persuasion occurs” (Seiter & Gass, 2004). Although, humor doesn’t have any hard evidence that shows that you can use this method to persuade your audience it does however prove that it can be useful. When your targeted audience mind is already made up it can make it much tougher to be able to persuade one’s view.
In conclusion, humor can be used both positively and negatively when not used correctly. In the course we’ve studied humor and persuasion, and how humor can be delivered in many different styles. If used effectively, humor and persuasion can have positive outcome. The most important thing to remember when choosing to use its appropriate to use in communication. In order to be successful the user must have proper discretion on when it is or inappropriate to bring up in conversation.