Funny People are More Intelligent: The Science behind Humor

Kei Quinal

Reading — Intermediate Level
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Albert Einstein attributed his brilliant mind to having a child-like sense of humour. Indeed, a number of studies have found an association between humour and intelligence.

Researchers in Austria recently discovered that funny people, particularly those who enjoy dark humour, have higher IQs than their less funny peers. They argue that it takes both cognitive and emotional ability to process and produce humour. Their analysis shows that funny people have higher verbal and non-verbal intelligence, and they score lower in mood disturbance and aggressiveness.

Not only are funny people smart, they’re nice to be around. Evidence suggests that having a good sense of humour is linked to high emotional intelligence and is a highly desirable quality in a partner. Evolutionary psychologists describe humour as a “heritable trait” that signals mental fitness and intellectual agility to prospective mates. In studies of attractiveness, both men and women rate funny people as more attractive, and cite having a good sense of humour as being one of the most important traits in a long-term partner.
  1. What should one have to be able to say and understand a joke?

  2. Which of the following is NOT true about funny people?

  3. Which of the following is a fitting description of a 'dark humor?'

  4. What makes funny people more attractive?

  5. Funny people may have inherited their good sense of humor from their parents.

  6. Studies showed that men prefer having a partner with a good sense of humor.

  7. Which of the following statements best summarizes the article?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. Do you like to tell jokes? Why/why not?

  2. Do you also find funny people more attractive than those who aren't? Why/why not?

  3. What kind of jokes always make you burst into laughter?

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