The theory also lays emphasis on the significance of understanding an audience prior to designing a persuasive communication. The evaluation of persuasive messages by individuals is dependent on their connection with the issue. Relevant issues evoke critical analyses based on decisive factors such as ethos, pathos and logos (Meyer, 2000). Consequently, the central route to persuasion is applied. Trivial issues lead to heuristic processing, which is the most desirable and convenient way of achieving persuasion.Humor can have a positive influence on persuasion by creating an optimistic effect. Humor is extremely important in diffusing tension in an audience thereby making the audience responsive to the message (Meyer, 2000). Creating jokes before presenting an important message tends to cause the audience to lower their guard hence alleviating nervousness and anxiety. As a result, the people are more likely to be convinced by the speaker. It has been observed that people in a good mood are less likely to respond negatively to a persuasive message because there is a high likelihood of relying on heuristic prompts (Dainton & Zelley, 2014). In addition, humor may influence a positive effect by causing the target to like the source of the message. For example, the use of cartoons in educative books is associated with creating a relaxing environment, which has a positive influence on the moods of the students.Humor should only be used to introduce, highlight or summarize certain points to give them a lasting impact. Excessive use of humor defeats its purpose and reduces the impact of the message because it ceases being funny (Weinberger & Gulas, 1992). It is vital. The Effectiveness of Humor in Persuasion.
Dainton, M. & Zelley, E. D. (2014). Applying communication theory for professional life: A practical introduction (3rd ed.). California: Sage Publications.
Lyttle, J. (2001). The effectiveness of humor in persuasion: The case of business ethics training.
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Meyer, J. C. (2000). Humor as a Double-Edged Sword: Four Functions of Humor in Communication. Communication Theory, 10(3), 310-331.
Weinberger, M. G. & Gulas, C. S. (1992). The impact of humor in advertising: A review. Journal of Advertising, 21(4), 35-59.
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