LOS ANGELES, Sept. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- It's no surprise that one of the most important things singles look for in a partner is a sense of humor. That's why eharmony's team of scientists is looking to uncover what role humor plays in romantic chemistry and compatibility. In a study of more than 1,500 users, eharmony has uncovered six different types of humor personalities and with that, which humor types are most prevalent and who is most likely to communicate with a match.
"It's human nature to want to be with someone who can make you laugh. That's why at eharmony we are putting humor to the test," said Grant Langston, CEO of eharmony. "We are always looking for new ways to connect people based on what matters most. With this research effort, our ultimate goal is to be able to bake humor into our complex machine learning algorithms and begin matching singles based on what makes for not only a great first date, but also a long lasting relationship."
The Types of Humor Personalities
eharmony invited users to take a survey where they looked at a series of memes and rated how funny they thought each one was on a scale from one to five. eharmony's team of scientists found that they can reliably score people on six types of reactive humor.
- Bodily Humor: Includes toilet humor, involving bodily functions, as well as humor that is sexual in nature.
- Dark Humor: Making light of people and subjects that are generally considered serious or taboo.
- Physical Humor: Physical acts, including scaring others, pranks, or falling.
- Self-Deprecating Humor: A style where an individual makes fun of themselves and their shortcomings for the enjoyment of others.
- Surreal Humor: Humor predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, producing events and behaviors that are obviously illogical.
- Wordplay Humor: Includes puns, emphasis on unexpected meanings and usage of certain words.
- Physical humor takes the cake. On average, respondents scored physical humor memes as the funniest (average score 2.97), closely followed by bodily humor (2.91) and self-deprecating humor (2.86). Participants found dark humor the least funny with an average score of 2.02.
- Women know how to laugh at themselves. Women found self-deprecating humor significantly funnier than men (2.92 vs 2.71) whereas men found dark humor (2.17 vs 1.97) and physical humor (3.16 vs 2.89) significantly funnier than women.
- Education plays a role in sense of humor. Respondents found physical humor and surreal humor less funny the more educated they were. The reverse was true for wordplay humor, as education level increased respondents found wordplay humor to be funnier.
- Kids bring out the fun in us. Participants with kids found self-deprecating humor funnier than people without kids (2.90 vs 2.80).
- Talking to someone who is back on the market? Listen up. Respondents that were previously married found dark humor significantly less funny than those who have not been married (1.98 vs 2.12).
Humor and Communication
Respondents' humor scores were then used to predict their communication across the first thirteen days following their profile creation.
- Communicating with matches. The two humor types most likely to communicate with a match after viewing a profile were respondents who identify with wordplay and physical humor while those who found surreal humor funny were the least likely to communicate.
- Making the first move. Respondents who found wordplay humor funny sent more initial messages than any other humor type.
- Smart is sexy. Those who found wordplay humor funnier were also significantly more likely to be viewed by matches.
In the coming months, eharmony will enable users to participate in the meme-based humor survey as an optional questionnaire. Users will be able to learn their humor style and compare it to their matches. From this, eharmony will be able to see who is communicating with one another, and see if finding the same types of things funny will lead to greater likelihood of communication and attraction.
The company also plans to continue research looking at first in-person interactions to see how humor affects initial chemistry when two people meet in person for the first time. In addition, eharmony plans to study long-term relationships to determine if sharing similar reactive styles of humor predicts a couple's long-term happiness and would create a happier and more successful long-term relationship.
The survey was fielded online between April 2017 and June 2017. A sample of 1,538 total participants of eharmony's member base were asked to rate how funny they found a series of memes from 1 to 5. Nearly a third of the respondents identified as male (28.2%) and nearly three quarters female (71.8%). Participants range in age from 18 to 89: 18-24 (2.1%); 25-34 (12.3%); 35-49 (32.4%); 50-64 (38.8%); 65+ (14.3%). No incentive was offered to complete the survey.
About eharmony, Inc.
Los Angeles, California-based eharmony, Inc. helps people find meaningful relationships that enrich their lives. Founded in 2000, eharmony is a pioneer in using relationship science to create highly compatible relationships based on key dimensions of personality that are scientifically proven to predict the most compatible, highly successful, long-term relationships. eharmony operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia. For more information visit www.eharmony.com or download the app available on iOS and Android.