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Science Says Humorous People Are More Intelligent

Science Says Humorous People Are More Intelligent

Here are three jokes to start you off. Have you heard about the farmer who counted his 196 cows but when he rounded them up he had 200? Or what about the dyslexic devil worshiper who sold his soul to Santa? I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger- then it hit me!

Do you normally make people laugh and are you good at telling jokes? Doing those things requires a lot of skill and intelligence. After all, if you make or invent jokes like the ones above, you have the ability to see some unusual connection and can make a funny simile or metaphor. This is where creativity comes in because you have to be intelligent enough to join two different ideas together which introduces a funny surprise.

Then, the actual telling of the joke requires a lot of skill and intelligence. You have to be able to judge first of all whether the listeners will actually appreciate it and understand it. Then you have to watch your pacing, emphasis and build suspense. Then you have to deliver the punch line with expert timing.

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Yes, you are right. Humorous people are more intelligent because all that requires pretty smart thinking. It also makes you more attractive as a mating partner. Researchers at the University of New Mexico have confirmed that humorous people are indeed more intelligent.

University of New Mexico research study

The researchers asked 400 students (200 men and 200 women) to take part in the study. They devised various tests on their abstract reasoning abilities, their verbal intelligence and also their ability to produce humorous puns. Their conclusions were that that being humorous was indeed an indicator of their level of intelligence. It also gave them the added bonus of having better chances of finding sexual partners. This latter feature was more marked for the males.

Why verbal intelligence is a humor marker

Anyone who has a high level of verbal intelligence loves puns, playing with words, inventing words and generally being creative with language. This is an essential element in humor. The making of new connections can be extended to being more creative in the workplace because it can establish a fertile environment for innovation. It is generally true that people are more inspired when they are relaxed.

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“Humor can be used to ease social tensions, to indicate friendly intent, and to strengthen social bonds.” – Paul E. McGhee in Humor Development – Toward A Life Span Approach

The role of humor in mating

How many times have you seen that a sense of humor is a much sought after quality when looking for a partner? All you have to do is to look at the Personals section in any magazine or online dating service.

The University of New Mexico research indicates that humor can be a decisive element, among others, when it comes to finding a partner. Humor also helps to reduce tension. They also found that men tended to be better at producing funny captions when they were asked to label cartoons. It seems that men are more keenly aware of the value of humor in making them more attractive sexual partners. Women appreciate humor produced by men and tend to laugh and smile more when men are making the jokes. Men appreciate the effect their humor had on women.

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“A good sense of humor is sexually attractive, perhaps because it reveals intelligence, creativity, and other ‘good genes’ or ‘good parent’ traits.” – Greengross and Miller, University of New Mexico

Comedians are more intelligent than college students

Another research project conducted at the UNM found that comedians were using a wider range of skills and intelligence than college students. The comedians were using social skills in dealing with club owners and audiences in addition to their ability to produce humorous dialogues. They were also showing a high level of dedication and ambition to succeed in a very competitive career.

The role of humor in our lives must never be underestimated. Just think of how many speakers have striven to sway their audiences by always telling a joke when they start speaking. If you can make them laugh, you have already won half the battle. In the workplace humor can be a bonding tool, social lubricant, and build trust. If you have a good sense of humor, you are more likely to be intelligent and successful in life.

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Have you heard the one about…..?

Featured photo credit: Laughing at the beach/Craig Cochrane via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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