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Persuasion and Humor

  • By: Robin L. Nabi
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

The study of humor and persuasion focuses on how the amusement felt in response to a message influences the attitudes and behaviors of its audience. This overview addresses the use and effects of humor in advertising and other persuasion contexts, articulating the extent of humor’s persuasive power, the conditions under which it tends to be effective, the psychological mechanisms that may explain its effects, and more recent contexts of humor and persuasion inquiry.

Humor’s Persuasive Influence in Advertising

The use of humor as a persuasive tool in advertising has evolved over the past 100 years, gaining greater favor more recently because of multiple factors, including the more frequent use of emotional appeals generally, changing technologies of message delivery, and the changing tone and content of entertainment media. ...

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