You’re having a laugh! Women don’t just prefer funny men – they also think they’re more intelligent and earn more, study finds
Men can really laugh women into bed – with a good sense of humor, which makes men seem more intelligent and more likely to be big earners.
In one study, 162 women were recruited for a speed dating style experiment where they were shown photos of six men.
Each man was said to make a statement as an “icebreaker”: a funny joke, an unfunny joke, or a lame statement about their favorite color or pizza.
The men all looked alike and were chosen because women rated them as averagely attractive.
But if women thought the man in the photo had made a funny joke, they were significantly more likely to give him their phone number.
Women don’t just prefer funny men – they also think they are more intelligent and earn more (stock image)
Unfortunately, for men not blessed with great humor, non-funny men were no more likely to get a woman’s phone number than those who made no attempt at humor, the study found.
A follow-up experiment showed why funny guys can get the girl.
When 81 women were asked to rate photos of eight men, half of whom had made a funny joke, while half had made a non-funny joke, they tended to rate the funny men as more intelligent.
They also rated them as having higher earning potential than non-funny men.
Dr. Mitch Brown, who led the research at the University of Arkansas, said: ‘Funny men can appear more competent to women, as evidenced by them perceiving them as more intelligent in their research.
If women thought the man in the photo had made a funny joke, they were significantly more likely to say they would give him their phone number
“If women believe that, maybe they also believe that men will do better in their careers, know more people, know how to play the game and make more money.”
The study, published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, says men use humor as a way to signal to women that they are interested and to connect with them by laughing together.
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Women also seem to appreciate men’s attempts at humor, even when they fail. The research shows that they rate funny and non-funny men equally highly when it comes to friendliness.
However, the experiment with 162 women found that women expected men to be more successful at attracting a partner if they were funny.
Women were asked to rate men’s friendliness, likely dating success, and how likely they were to give up their phone number after seeing the photos and the statements the men apparently made.
There’s a risk when men joke around that it makes them come across as warm, kind, and like good boyfriend material, or it can backfire and make them seem like duplicitous braggarts interested in playing the field.
To test which views women held, researchers asked 108 women to rate the men with funny and not-funny statements about whether they would choose them for a long-term relationship.
Funny men preferred long-term relationships, indicating that they are seen as good, committed partners.
They also had women’s preference for short-term relationships, although they had less of an advantage than unfunny men.
The ‘funny’ men in the study were presented with statements that women were more likely to find amusing, such as ‘Past, present and future had an argument. It was tense.’
Another example was: ‘Cremation – my only hope for a smoking hot body.’
The unfunny men got jokes like: ‘What do you call a tiger with glasses? A scientific tiger.’
Women do seem to like a good sense of humor, but good looks still seem to be important, as a group of 141 women generally found funny men to be even more desirable if their photo was attractive rather than unattractive.