Sex Differences in Humor Production AbilityA Meta-Analysis

Authors Organisations
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Article number103886
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Early online date22 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Oct 2019
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We offer the first systematic quantitative meta-analysis on sex differences in humor production ability. We included studies where participants created humor output that was assessed for funniness by independent raters. Our meta-analysis includes 36 effect sizes from 28 studies published between 1976 and 2018 (N = 5057, 67% women). Twenty of the 36 effect sizes, accounting for 61% of the participants, were not previously published. Results based on random-effects model revealed that men’s humor output was rated as funnier than women’s, with a combined effect size d = 0.321. Results were robust across various moderators and study characteristics, and multiple tests indicated that publication bias is unlikely. Both evolutionary and cultural explanations were considered and discussed.


  • Humor, Humor production ability, Sex differences, Evolutionary psychology, Meta-analysis


  • Sex differences in humor production ability - a meta-analysis

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