Seeing the funny side: Humor in pro-environmental communication

Chris Skurka, Julia J. Lee Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Our review, drawing from various fields such as communication, psychology, marketing, and environmental studies, delves into the potential for humor in pro-environmental messaging to mobilize social change. The review examines different forms of humor, including satire, stand-up comedy, and scripted entertainment programming, and their impact on audience responses. We also highlight the possible drawbacks of using humor and factors that moderate its effects. Overall, the evidence paints a mixed picture whereby pro-environmental humor is largely successful in influencing proximal cognitive outcomes (attention, perceptions) but has more limited influence on distal outcomes (behavior) with the greatest benefits seen among low-interest groups. The need for more diverse samples and robust experimental designs is emphasized to fully comprehend the efficacy of humor in effecting environmental change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101668
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology

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