Ask any woman what she's looking for in a man, and often times the first response is "sense of humor." Most men, who don't make a living as a male model, will typically scoff or roll their eyes. Well, now there is a report out of France that confirms the attractiveness of humor and attempts to explain the phenomenon.
The study is published in the journal Psychological Reports, and has the unfortunate long name of "Men's sense of humor and women's responses to courtship solicitations: an experimental field study."
Here's what researchers did -- they sat three men in a bar near a woman. Then one of the men would tell three jokes that were chosen for their funniness by a panel of women.
"Two friends are talking: "Say, buddy, could you loan me 100 Euros?" "Well, you know I only have 60 on me." "Ok, give me what you've got and you'll only owe me 40."
A young teacher is interviewing for a position. He is asked: "Can you give me three reasons why you wanted to be a teacher?" The interviewee promptly answers: "December, June, and July."
A little boy asks his Dad, "What's a bank?" His Dad answers: "It's a place where you put your money for awhile, before the IRS takes it all away.""
Obviously French women don't know what's funny. (After all, they're still laughing at Jerry Lewis.)
In any case, the other two men would say things like "That's hilarious!" and "You always know the good ones!" They would then leave, and the crazy, funny joke-teller would ask the eavesdropping woman for her phone number.
The study claims:
The previous expression of humor was associated with greater compliance with the male confederate's request and with a higher positive evaluation.
Meaning, he got the number in most cases. Besides proving the incredible value of always having a wingman who will laugh at all your bad jokes, the author speculates further:
Humor for women may perhaps be interpreted as a personal trait related to intelligence; intelligence is an important trait in evaluating the probability of obtaining higher status and success in financial prospects. This effect could explain why men used humor more frequently than women because the lack of humor is associated with less interest in the female's mental activity.