Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Research on Communication

"Great Sermon, Pastor, I Didn't Understand a Word!"

J. Scott Armstrong, associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, has demonstrated in a series of tests that both for written and spoken communication, "an unintelligible communication from a legitimate source in the recipient's area of expertise will increase the recipient's rating of the author's competence." Armstrong calls this the "Dr. Fox Hypothesis", based on an experiment in which an actor posed as Dr. Myron R. Fox and delivered a lecture of "double talk," patching raw material from a Scientific American article into non sequiturs and contradictory statements interspersed with jokes and meaningless references to unrelated topics. "The audience of professionals on anonymous questionnaires reported that they 'found the lecture clear and stimulating.'"

Related Sermon Illustrations

Boy's Hoax Teaches Valuable Lesson

Ever hear about the dihydrogen monoxide hoax? It's been around for a while, but it got a lot of media attention in 1997 when a 14-year-old student named Nathan Zohner circulated a ...

[Read More]

Words Worth Remembering?

Consider this paradox: Almost everything that is publicly said these days is recorded. Almost nothing of what is said is worth remembering.

[Read More]