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Perk up romance through humour

If you get tongue tied on a date, try cracking a witty joke and laugh your way into the heart of your lady love.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2006 15:13 IST
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Ifyou get tongue tied on a date, try cracking a witty joke and laugh your way into the heart of your lady love. For, a new study has found that humour can pave the way for romance.

Eric Bressler of Westfield State College, Massachusetts, and colleague Sigal Balshine of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, conducted a study to determine if humour makes a person attractive. In the study, 200 male and female students had to examine photos of members of the opposite sex. Women ranked humorous men as better potential partners. In contrast, men appeared to be uninfluenced by a lady’s wit.

Bressler suspected that in fact, both, men and women do value a sense of humour in a mate, but they might be looking for slightly different things. Women valuing an ability to be funny and men valuing an ability to see the joke.

In a second study, Bressler and his colleagues asked nearly 130 students to imagine two people of the opposite sex. One fictional character was funny; the other appreciated another person’s humour. The team then asked each whom they would choose. Women preferred funny men, while men favoured a woman who thought he was funny.

Bressler believes that the findings might hint at why humans have evolved a sense of humour at all.

According to one theory, proposed by psychologist Geoffrey Miller at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, women prefer funny men because their wit reveals an active and healthy brain and a fine set of underlying genes. “It’s a very powerful and reliable way to show creativity and intelligence,” Miller says. If this theory holds true, a woman choosing a funny man as a partner is more likely to have genetically healthy children who will survive and reproduce themselves.

This so-called sexual selection could, in some circumstances, favour women who like humorous men, and men who like women with an apprecia tion for humour.

IF YOU get tongue tied on a date, try cracking a witty joke and laugh your way into the heart of your lady love. For, a new study has found that humour can pave the way for romance. Eric Bressler of Westfield State College, Massachusetts, and colleague Sigal Balshine of McMaster University in Hamil- ton, Ontario, conducted a study to determine if humour makes a person attractive. In the study, 200 male and female students had to examine photos of mem- bers of the opposite sex.

Women ranked humorous men as better potential partners. In contrast, men appeared to be uninflu- enced by a lady’s wit. Bressler suspected that in fact, both, men and women do value a sense of humour in a mate, but they might be looking for slightly different things. Women valuing an ability to be funny and men valuing an ability to see the joke.

In a second study, Bressler and his colleagues asked nearly 130 students to imagine two people of the opposite sex. One fictional character was funny; the other appreciated another person’s humour. The team then asked each whom they would choose. Women preferred funny men, while men favoured a woman who thought he was funny. Bressler believes that the findings might hint at why hu- mans have evolved a sense of humour at all.

According to one theory, pro- posed by psychologist Geoffrey Miller at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, women prefer funny men because their wit reveals an active and healthy brain and a fine set of underlying genes. “It’s a very powerful and reliable way to show creativity and intelli- gence,” Miller says. If this theo- ry holds true, a woman choos- ing a funny man as a partner is more likely to have genetically healthy children who will survive and reproduce themselves. This so-called sexual selection could, in some circum- stances, favour women who like humorous men, and men who like women with an apprecia- tion for humour.

First Published: Jan 25, 2006 15:13 IST