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Science Says Humorous People Are More Intelligent

Science Says Humorous People Are More Intelligent

Here are three jokes to start you off. Have you heard about the farmer who counted his 196 cows but when he rounded them up he had 200? Or what about the dyslexic devil worshiper who sold his soul to Santa? I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger- then it hit me!

Do you normally make people laugh and are you good at telling jokes? Doing those things requires a lot of skill and intelligence. After all, if you make or invent jokes like the ones above, you have the ability to see some unusual connection and can make a funny simile or metaphor. This is where creativity comes in because you have to be intelligent enough to join two different ideas together which introduces a funny surprise.

Then, the actual telling of the joke requires a lot of skill and intelligence. You have to be able to judge first of all whether the listeners will actually appreciate it and understand it. Then you have to watch your pacing, emphasis and build suspense. Then you have to deliver the punch line with expert timing.

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Yes, you are right. Humorous people are more intelligent because all that requires pretty smart thinking. It also makes you more attractive as a mating partner. Researchers at the University of New Mexico have confirmed that humorous people are indeed more intelligent.

University of New Mexico research study

The researchers asked 400 students (200 men and 200 women) to take part in the study. They devised various tests on their abstract reasoning abilities, their verbal intelligence and also their ability to produce humorous puns. Their conclusions were that that being humorous was indeed an indicator of their level of intelligence. It also gave them the added bonus of having better chances of finding sexual partners. This latter feature was more marked for the males.

Why verbal intelligence is a humor marker

Anyone who has a high level of verbal intelligence loves puns, playing with words, inventing words and generally being creative with language. This is an essential element in humor. The making of new connections can be extended to being more creative in the workplace because it can establish a fertile environment for innovation. It is generally true that people are more inspired when they are relaxed.

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“Humor can be used to ease social tensions, to indicate friendly intent, and to strengthen social bonds.” – Paul E. McGhee in Humor Development – Toward A Life Span Approach

The role of humor in mating

How many times have you seen that a sense of humor is a much sought after quality when looking for a partner? All you have to do is to look at the Personals section in any magazine or online dating service.

The University of New Mexico research indicates that humor can be a decisive element, among others, when it comes to finding a partner. Humor also helps to reduce tension. They also found that men tended to be better at producing funny captions when they were asked to label cartoons. It seems that men are more keenly aware of the value of humor in making them more attractive sexual partners. Women appreciate humor produced by men and tend to laugh and smile more when men are making the jokes. Men appreciate the effect their humor had on women.

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“A good sense of humor is sexually attractive, perhaps because it reveals intelligence, creativity, and other ‘good genes’ or ‘good parent’ traits.” – Greengross and Miller, University of New Mexico

Comedians are more intelligent than college students

Another research project conducted at the UNM found that comedians were using a wider range of skills and intelligence than college students. The comedians were using social skills in dealing with club owners and audiences in addition to their ability to produce humorous dialogues. They were also showing a high level of dedication and ambition to succeed in a very competitive career.

The role of humor in our lives must never be underestimated. Just think of how many speakers have striven to sway their audiences by always telling a joke when they start speaking. If you can make them laugh, you have already won half the battle. In the workplace humor can be a bonding tool, social lubricant, and build trust. If you have a good sense of humor, you are more likely to be intelligent and successful in life.

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Have you heard the one about…..?

Featured photo credit: Laughing at the beach/Craig Cochrane via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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