Scientists: Funny People are Smarter

They tend to score particularly high on verbal intelligence examinations.

Seth M | April 15, 2016

They tend to score particularly high on verbal intelligence examinations.

This may come as a surprise or it may not, but according to a 2011 study from researchers at the University of New Mexico, funny people seem to be a bit smarter than your average person. 

The University of New Mexico asked 400 psychology students to complete measures of abstract reasoning ability and verbal intelligence before attempting to caption a series of New Yorker cartoons. They found that the captions that were rated as “funnier” were authored by students that scored higher on their tests of cognitive ability.

A separate study by UNM was conducted in similar fashion, this time focusing on a group of comedians. The comedians not only produced more caption ideas that were funnier than the students, they also scored higher on tests of verbal intelligence, which typically correlates with overall intelligence.

Similar research published in the 1970s showed that comedians, both male and female, scored significantly higher on IQ tests than the average person. Specifically, males scored an average of 138, while the females scored an average of 126; for comparison, an average IQ score rests between 90 and 110.

As a funny person myself, I can say with great confidence that we are definitely very smart people, but just because you’re not making people laugh every second of the day doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not intelligent. Sense of humor is just one trait among many that can be indicative of above-average brain power.

 

This blog post has been reproduced with the permission of Expanded Consciousness. The original blog post can be found here. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily endorsed by this organization and are simply provided as food for thought from Intellectual Takeout.