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  • 1 University of Stirling, Psychology School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA, Stirling, Scotland, UK
  • 2 University of Stirling. Psychology School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA, Stirling, Scotland, UK
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Abstract

A good sense of humour is commonly offered in written dating advertisements demonstrating that humour is an important quality to have when attracting a mate, but not all humour is the same. This study used vignettes in the style of a personal advertisement to measure the attractiveness of affiliative and aggressive humour in different relationship contexts. The results demonstrated that affiliative humour was more attractive than aggressive humour in both relationship contexts but especially for long-term relationships. The results follow the pattern expected of affiliative humour styles being more attractive for long-term relationships due to being linked to qualities that may be important in long-term relationships such as likelihood of cooperation, and aggressive humour styles not being favoured for long-term relationships due to being linked to qualities that may be detrimental in long-term relationships. A follow-up study confirmed that different humour styles were associated with different perceived personality traits. Together these findings suggest that humour may be used to indicate an individual's personality and that the attractiveness of a good sense of humour depends on both the type of humour and the type of relationship being sought.

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No Evolutionist is an Island

A review of Kevin N. Laland and Gillian R. Brown (2011) Sense and Nonsense. Evolutionary perspectives of human behaviour Oxford: Oxford University Press. 270 pages, ISBN: 978-0-19-958696-7