Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-2009

Abstract

Are people who are funny more attractive? Or does being attractive lead people to be seen as funnier? The answer may depend on the underlying evolutionary function of humor. While humor has been proposed to signal “good genes”, the authors propose that humor also functions to indicate interest in social relationships—in initiating new relationships and in monitoring existing ones. Consistent with this interest indicator model, across three studies both sexes were more likely to initiate humor and to respond more positively and consider the other person to be funny when initially attracted to that person. The findings support that humor dynamics—and not just humor displays—influence romantic chemistry for both men and women, suggesting that humor can ultimately function as a strategy to initiate and monitor social relationships.

Keywords

humor, physical attractiveness, social relationships, sexual selection

Discipline

Gender and Sexuality | Personality and Social Contexts | Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Volume

35

Issue

7

First Page

923

Last Page

936

ISSN

0146-1672

Identifier

10.1177/0146167209334786

Publisher

SAGE

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167209334786

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