If you ask someone to list the characteristics they require in a potential dating partner, it is likely that they would say they want someone with a good sense of humour. Humour may be especially important in online interactions because after the initial impression given by a person’s profile picture, it is what a person says and how they describe themselves which takes over and becomes more salient.
Humour puts people in a good and positive mood. In an initial encounter with someone, our mood is a crucial factor in determining attraction. If we experience positive feelings, this subsequently leads to a positive evaluation of the other person.
In a study by Bressler, Martin & Balshine participants were asked to think of the following. Imagine a situation where you are choosing between two potential dating partners. They are equally physically attractive, intelligent, interesting, friendly and compassionate. The only difference between them is in the following.
- One is great at making you laugh and you think they are very funny. However, they don’t laugh all that much when you make jokes. They listen to you, but when you make jokes you rarely get more than a smile from them.
- The other laughs at all your jokes and think you are a very funny person, but you don’t find their jokes very funny. You understand their jokes and don’t find them offensive, but they rarely make you laugh.
Bressler et al reported that males prefer females who are receptive to their humour and laugh at their jokes, whereas females value humour production in a relationship partner!
Females in relationships with more humorous partners rated them as being more creative and intelligent, and also as being more popular and better leaders. Males who construct humorous profiles and engage in online messaging using humour might attract more females.
Having a good sense of humour suggests that we can interact easily with others and that we possess a relaxed and fun-loving personality, all of which make us more attractive.
Source: Psychology Today