Bias – The humor effect

The bias project – the joker

The most dreaded moment at a family reunion is the moment when somebody starts to recollect memories from your childhood. They’re always the ‘funny’ ones you’ve been trying to forget.

Don’t blame your family, they’re just biased. It’s called the humor effect. According to Wikipedia, it means that:

“Humorous items are more easily remembered than non-humorous ones, which might be explained by the distinctiveness of humor, the increased cognitive processing time to understand the humor, or the emotional arousal caused by the humor.”

Humor therefore is a powerful tool in communication: people remember the way you frame information and they’ll remember it with a smile. No wonder dictactors are quick to put cartoonists behind bars.

The UX part

User research is fascinating, but it is a challenge to communicate the results. Reports can be thorough and accurate, but will have no impact if people do not read them.

So I always do a little bit more to bring the most important things to the attention. Cartoons can easily be understood, remembered and distributed. Never underestimate the power of a funny image ☺.