Imperial College London


Business School

Assistant Professor in Organisational Behaviour



+44 (0)20 7594 3681j.pai CV




Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

1 results found

Pai J, Chou E, Halevy N, 2023, The humor advantage: humorous bragging benefits job candidates and entrepreneurs, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, ISSN: 0146-1672

From job candidates to entrepreneurs, people often face an inherent tension between the need to share personal accomplishments and the need to avoid appearing arrogant. We propose that humorbragging – incorporating self-enhancing humor into self-promoting communications – cansignal warmth and competence simultaneously, leading to instrumental benefits. Four studies explored humorbragging as a potential solution to the self-promotion paradox. Study 1demonstrated that a humorbragging (vs. self-promoting) resume attracted more hiring interest from recruiters. Study 2 showed that perceived warmth and competence mediate the positive effect of humorbragging on hiring intentions. Study 3 found that humorbragging entrepreneursachieved greater success securing funding compared to entrepreneurs who used other kinds of humor. Finally, Studies 4a-4c established that the positive effect of humorbragging on hiring intentions is unique to self-enhancing humor. Overall, the current research establishes the instrumental benefits of humorbragging and explains why and when it functions as an effective impression management strategy.

Journal article

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