Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A hilarious "Motivation Workshop" offer

In comes an email advertising a "Motivation Workshop (including Strategic Laughter)".

You can tell quite quickly that it's hogwash when you see the "Outcomes" they promise.
  • Motivates Employees
  • Reduces Stress
  • Team Building
  • Having Balance in your Life
  • Improves Productivity
  • Attitude
  • The Laws of Attraction (The Power of Thought)
  • Numerology (Character Traits we are born with)
The Law of Attraction is New Age nonsense of the highest order. Numerology is Dark Ages claptrap.

It gets even sillier when they start quoting "research" that they claim supports these ridiculous claims. For instance:
"William Fry M.D. a Stanford University Medical School Professor has studied the effects of laughter upon the human body. He says that laughing 100-200 times a day is the cardiovascular equivalent of rowing for ten minutes."
Let's do the maths. If you laugh 200 times in a 16 hour day that means you laugh once every 4.8 minutes. If you do that in MY office I'll call the Police and a doctor. And isn't it simpler just to row for 10 minutes?

Then they claim that:
"Researchers at Indiana State University studied women who laughed out loud to funny films, as compared to those watching a boring tourism video. They found that when samples of Natural Killer immune cells (which attack cancer cells) were mixed with cancer cells, the immune systems of the people who laughed out loud were BOOSTED BY UP TO 40%"
This is nonsense. This is ONE experiment done in 2003 on a sample of 33 women, divided into two groups that showed an decrease in their self-reported levels of stress if they had been amused by a funny film. An experiment that was undertaken ONCE with a tiny sample group that showed that funny films amuse people and make them feel a bit better. And from that we are meant to believe that laughing in the office will make us more productive?

I've no problem with laughter and happiness, clearly they're both good things in and out of the office. But ascribing all these miracles to laughter is hogwash. Utter hogwash.

And if you want to laugh at something? Just laugh at the claims these people make.