Science Fact: Men Are Funnier Than Women

Posted by on October 19th, 2011


Men are funnier than women, according to a new study out of UC San Diego.

But only barely, a scientist quickly added realizing he still has to go home to his wife.

And men mostly found other men funny which accounts for the slight advantage, added a young lab tech whose blind date arrived awkwardly while the announcement was made.

Although those qualifiers are not true (nor funny) the facts remain that men tested funnier on average than women, if just barely.

…the study’s first author Laura Mickes, a postdoctoral researcher in the UC San Diego Department of Psychology and a Ph.D. graduate of the same department, “The differences we find between men’s and women’s ability to be funny are so small that they can’t account for the strength of the belief in the stereotype.”

Men edged out women by 0.11 points out of a theoretically possible perfect score of 5.0, while about 90 percent of both male and female study participants agreed with the stereotype that men are funnier.

So how do a pack of intellectuals measure what is funny and what isn’t? Why a controlled version of a New Yorker cartoon caption contest, of course! (tea cups cling as pinkies arise) Each volunteer wrote captions for the legendarily erudite scribbles and then had they rated by other test takers. The study also tested to see if funny captions were more memorable.

[Science Daily]


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