Friday, December 10, 2010

Comedy Makes You Smarter and Happier

I've posted before on the benefits of improv in thinking faster, idea support, and building friendship. Here's a benefit of simply watching comedy, it makes you smarter, instantly:
In a just completed study, researchers at Northwestern University found that people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine.

“What we think is happening,” said Mark Beeman, a neuroscientist who conducted the study with Karuna Subramaniam, a graduate student, “is that the humor, this positive mood, is lowering the brain’s threshold for detecting weaker or more remote connections” to solve puzzles.
Humor can also help improve your mood:
This study aimed to demonstrate that the cognitive demands involved in humor processing can attenuate negative emotionsA primary aspect of humor is that it poses cognitive demands needed for incongruency resolution. On the basis of findings that cognitive distraction prevents mood-congruent processing, the authors hypothesized that humorous stimuli attenuate negative emotions to a greater extent than do equally positive nonhumorous stimuli.
Here's the Wikipedia article on the positive psychology of humor.


  1. Now I got a very strong reason to watch more comedy. Thanks for sharing the info

  2. Find your state:

    Then find some improv!

  3. I agree with this point that humor improves mood.

    Thanks for sharing. :)


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