4 Ways How Laughter Helps Love
Laughter is pretty easy to recognize.
People who are laughing are usually in a good mood. It signals happiness, playfulness, and joy. And who doesn’t love to laugh?
Laughing is also really good for your health! It can strengthen the immune system, relieve pain, release endorphins, and can even protect you from stress.
Scientists even study laughter. And when one scientists was looking for connections between intelligence and humor, he found something he wasn’t expecting.
Laughing to Love
Jeffrey Hall is an associate professor of communication studies from the University of Kansas. He was interested in how humor relates in intelligence because some studies have found a link between the two.
He conducted 3 separate studies to see if he could find anything. In the course of those studies, however, he found another connection. How laughter can make a case for love.
Here’s Jeffrey in a news release about the study:
“The idea that humor is a signal of intelligence doesn’t give humor its due credit. If you meet someone who you can laugh with, it might mean your future relationship is going to be fun and filled with good cheer.”
Love in the Wrong Places
Jeffrey’s first study was a small. Only 35 individuals. The participants evaluated the personalities of 100 strangers using Facebook profile pages.
The strangers, whose profiles were being evaluated, also filled out surveys. Once all the data was analyzed, Jeffrey found that humorous people were more likely to be extroverted than they were intelligent. Strangers were also more likely to find these people humorous.
The second study was a bit larger. It took 300 students and had them fill our surveys on humor and dating. Information was also gathered on their GPA and ACT scores.
Jeffrey found that there was no connection between how smart the person was and how humorous they claimed to be. Once again, though, there was a connection between extroversion and humor. Jeffrey also didn’t find a difference between how men and women understood or appreciated humor.
The final study brought 51 pairs of single strangers together. Everyone was unfamiliar with each other. They were required to sit in a room for 10 minutes and simply talk. Afterwards, they filled out a questionnaire. Jeffrey wanted to observe the role of humor in romantic attraction.
He observed an interesting result from the little experiment. The more times a man tried to joke – and the more that a lady laughed at the jokes – the more she was romantically interested. However, the same was not true when women tried to be funny with men.
He also saw that when the couple laughed together, the were more interested in each other.
The study was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.
The Role of Humor
Across all 3 studies, Jeffrey didn’t find a link with humor and intelligence.
So what role can humor play in the game of dating?
Jeffrey offers 4 explanations:
- Humor points to having a sociable and agreeable personality. “Part of what it means to be social is the ability to joke along with people,” Hall said.
- Men use humor to gauge if women are interested in them. “Men are trying to get women to show their cards,” Hall said. “For some men it is a conscious strategy.”
- When men make jokes and women laugh, they may be performing a script in courtship. Men acting like jokers and women laughing along may be part of it, too. “The script is powerful and it is enduring, and it dictates everything from asking someone out to picking up the tab,” Hall said.
- Humor is valuable for humor’s sake. “Shared laughter might be a pathway toward developing a more long-lasting relationship,” Hall said.
Some researchers, though, have found a connection between humor and intelligence. A study from 2011 looked at the relationship between humor, intelligence, and mating preferences. Similar to Jeffrey’s study, it found that men who were perceived to be funnier had more dating success.
Regardless of the differences between studies, it has been found that women who perceive men to be funny rate those men as appearing more intelligent. Regardless if those men were actually intelligent or not.
Perception is a powerful thing. So fellas, don’t forget that humor can help you catch the eye of that special lady.