“Which would you like to date, this pen or this marker, and why?”

That’s a question that represents transcontextual relationships. Dating and writing utensils are never linked, however this is a question that can be answered, not in a serious way, but in some way.

This was another of Dr. Dario Nardi’s study on brain activity. When someone answers a question like this with something like:

“The pen because it’s taller.”

There is usually a chuckle that signals transcontextual thinking has happened. More interestingly, this tends to light up the whole brain on an EEG while it happens meaning that engagement goes up.

That’s interesting.

Two thoughts on this:

  • A stand-up comedy performance is filled with these, which is what keeps the audience engaged and laughing.
  • These are a great way to re-engage your audience from time to time with a thought that engages their entire brain.

That last thought is what makes this worth writing down and using as a skill.

I’ll end with an example:

Men want the same thing from their underwear as they do from their women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.

Jerry Seinfeld