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Humor and Creativity

We were taught that adults are supposed to be serious. Unfortunately, such early parent training runs contrary with some recent research on the importance of playfulness and humor. Ann Marstin, at the University of Minnesota, found that the top children in intelligence and social skills in grades 4–8, also had the best sense of humor. We can’t leave that sense of humor with the children. Adults are required to be more and more creative on the job. In a changing world we need to be open to “fooling around” with ideas to explore new mental connections. Playfulness and humor helps develop flexible thinking. Humor is a brainteaser that can stir up new perspectives. We live in an age that requires change, innovation, and creativity.

Avner Ziv’s research in Israel suggests that participation in a humorous experience before a brainstorming session increases creativity and “divergent thinking.” Humor helps promote innovation by making it legitimate to think in imperfect and illogical ways.


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