I've seen a couple of documentaries where they insinuate that sense of humor and intelligence could be related. I couldn't find the documentaries on the web, but the following are some studies regarding the issue.


How can they be related? Is there a cultural or demographic influence?

Particularly, the first study says that men are not attracted so much by women with GSOH, as woman could be by men with GSOH, and the second one that GSOH is higher among males.

So it kind of suggests that women are not that much intelligent, or GSOH is not an indicator of intelligence among women, or men doesn't like intelligent women.

  • I've seen a couple of documentaries that UFOs landed at Roswell, but no studies were available either.
    – user3344
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 0:39
  • Welcome to Skeptics! We want to focus our attention on doubtful claims that are widely held or are made by notable people. Please provide some references to places where this claim is being made.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 0:41
  • 3
    It is excellent that you have found some examples of the claim, but now the problem is that they are TOO STRONG. You've found scientific evidence to support the claim. What is left for us to do to answer your question?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 2:41
  • 2
    The question really is, What constitutes humour? Some people think watching some guy getting hit with a football in his privates is funny. Some people thing trailer park boys are funny. Some people think XKCD comics are funny. I personally think that there's a strong correlation between what kind of humour people enjoy, and their intelligence level. All people have a sense of humour. Whether or not the sense of humour lines up with the sense of humour of the people doing the testing probably has a lot to do with it.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 19:10
  • Right. If you equate 'good sense of humor' with 'humor that intelligent people appreciate', you'll certainly find that GSOH correlates to intelligence. Its utility as a breeding strategem is another question. Commented May 23, 2013 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


While the overall evidence that I found suggested that, yes, intelligence and humor are related, there have been some conflicting reports, which makes the situation not crystal clear.

sense of humour correlated highly with both creativity (r = .89) and intelligence (r = .91).

The authors also report that another study reported low correlation between sense of humor and intelligence.

Although it is widely assumed that sense of humor is closely related to intelligence and creativity, the empirical studies of these relationships, which are reviewed in this article, have yielded conflicting findings. On the basis of the present review and a consideration of other relevant literature, it is suggested that the nature of such relationships might be affected by how the variables are operationalized, several characteristics of the experimental participants, as well as various aspects of the broader experimental context As the extant studies have investigated only a restricted number of the empirical issues to do with those characteristics, it is evident that a considerable amount of research remains to be conducted The more informative characterization provided by such research would clearly provide the basis for more accurate analyses of the nature of intelligence and creativity

Structural equation models showed that general and verbal intelligence both predict humor production ability


There does appear to be a relationship between humor and intelligence, but, perhaps unsurprisingly due to the slipperiness of the concepts, it depends on how and when you measure it.

  • hmmm... It seems that sense of humor is an indicator, somewhat like IQ, but not an easy to quantify.
    – rraallvv
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 14:00
  • Sure. Straight off the bat, there is the question about whether GSOH means you laugh frequently, you laugh at what society considers appropriate to laugh at, you can make other people laugh, etc.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 14:04

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