New research has shown that watching funny video at work may likely make you more creative. So all those bosses who catch their subordinates snooping in some comic videos on Youtube, be happy! The same subordinate might come up with your next star product.
This rather interesting piece of research carried out by Ruby T. Nadler, Rahel Rabi and John Paul Minda (2010), showed that positive mood helps an individual achieve a greater cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility, in other words, being more skilful at performing cognitive tasks which involve greater analysis, imagination and hypothesizing. In order to test impact of mood on cognitive flexibility they carried out an experiment where they used Youtube videos. I personally haven’t heard of Youtube videos being put to academic use. I am sure there are people who do that.
For ‘Positive mood’ they used the Laughing baby video, for ‘Neutral mood’ they used the Antique Roadshow video and for ‘Negative mood’ they used a Chinese earthquake report video. I am embedding here a laughing baby video – I am not sure if it’s the same that was used in the experiment.
So if you are a boss and if you catch your subordinate watching youtube at work, don’t worry. Immediately after the video is over, give him/her a challenging task and you should get good results. After all he/she will have a his/her mind in a much better shape. But do make sure, that videos are positive ones!!
Nadler RT, Rabi R, & Minda JP (2010). Better mood and better performance: learning rule-described categories is enhanced by positive mood. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21 (12), 1770-6 PMID: 20974709