Subjects were 49 students from an online undergraduate research methods class at Eastern Kentucky University. The students participated as part of a class exercise and were assigned randomly to the humor or non-humor groups.
Students were assigned to one of two groups, one group was prompted to think of a funny experience from their past while the second group was prompted to list as many presidents as possible. To assess creative the Remote Associations Test (RAT) was used, this test is considered a measure of creativity because it requires subjects to think flexibly and find associations among concepts that are not typically associated. For each of these condition the humor or non-humor prompt was combined with the RAT, the student was asked to think of a funny story or to list the presidents then was given the RAT.
Students were instructed to complete the “Lab 1 Exercises” for their group, which was labeled as Group A or Group B. Subjects were not told the hypothesis or the purpose of the exercises. The exercises were available at a link in their online course. Both groups were told there was going to be two exercises and then told to read the instructions for question 1 and to type the response spending no more than 8 minutes on it. After question 1 subject’s proceeded to question 2 and again told to follow the instructions and given an example of the proceeding questions while spending no more than 12 minutes on it. Group A was instructed to think of something funny that made them laugh, something that happened to them, was said to them, or they saw on TV, then the subjects were instructed to write a summary of that event all while re-living the moment. Group B was instructed to think about the presidents of the United States in order from George Washington. The subjects were instructed to write them down in order, but if had difficultly during certain time periods move on with more recent presidents...