Is sense of humour quantifiable?

9th February 2012

Asked by: Anon

If you define a sense of humour as your likelihood of finding something funny, it’s obviously possible to measure it, at least in a statistical sense. But simply finding everything funny doesn’t mean you have a great sense of humour; it means you’re an imbecile.
When we say someone has a great sense of humour, we generally mean they find the same things funny as we do and that’s clearly a subjective measure. A 2007 study at the University of Granada in Spain found that there’s no such thing as universal humour. We can measure how funny a group of people find a particular joke, but we can’t place jokes in a universally agreed-upon spectrum of funniness. So you can’t test your sense of humour simply by hearing ‘reference’ jokes and measuring your response. However, the fact that this study appeared in the International Journal Of Humour Research suggests there are academics willing to try.