SAN DIEGO, Oct. 22 (UPI) — Men are funnier than women, but not by as much as they think — they’re only funnier by a hair and mostly to other men, U.S. researchers suggest.
First author Laura Mickes, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of San Diego; Nicholas Christenfeld, a University of San Diego professor of psychology; graduate students Drew Walker and Julian Parris; and Robert Mankoff, cartoon editor for The New Yorker magazine used a controlled version of The New Yorker cartoon caption contest for the study.
The first experiment had 16 undergraduate males and 16 undergraduate females writing captions alone in a quiet room for 20 New Yorker cartoons in 45 minutes, for a total of 640 captions.
The second phase of the first experiment had 34 male and 47 female undergraduates rate the captions written earlier in a five-round knockout tournament. One cartoon image was displayed with two random and anonymous captions, and the raters chose the funnier of the two.
The study, published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, found men did better than women, but not by much — male writers earning an average 0.11 more points than female writers.
“Sad for the guys, who think that by being funny they will impress the ladies, but they really just impress other men who want to impress the ladies,” Christenfeld said in a statement.