Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Humor Production

  • Rachael CarmenEmail author
  • Haley Dillon
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1888-1



The production of humor leading to laughter and cheerfulness in others.


Humor production and appreciation is a human universal and may have evolved as a species typical adaptation in humans (Greengross and Miller 2008). Across the vast majority of cultures, “a good sense of humor” in a partner is listed off among other seemingly more important traits like intelligence and attraction (Bressler et al. 2006). From an evolutionary perspective, we understand that typical attractive features are thought to be indicative of genetic fitness (i.e., lower mutation load) and thus are considered fitness indicators. Taking that idea a step farther, Miller (2001) explains that there are also mentalfitness indicators – honest signals to genetic fitness via behavioral interactions with the environment: intelligence, creativity (including artistic and musical ability), and humor. In order for an individual to...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bressler, E. R., & Balshine, S. (2006). The influence of humor on desirability. Evolution and Human Behavior, 27, 29–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bressler, E. R., Martin, R. A., & Balshine, S. (2006). Production and appreciation of humor as sexually selected traits. Evolution and Human Behavior, 27, 121–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Greengross, G., & Miller, G. (2008). Dissing oneself versus dissing rivals: Effects of status, personality, and sex on the short-term and long-term attractiveness of self-deprecating and other-deprecating humor. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(3), 393–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Greengross, G., & Miller, G. (2011). Humor ability reveals intelligence, predicts mating success, and is higher in males. Intelligence, 39, 188–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Miller, G. F. (2001). The mating mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. New York: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  6. Yip, J. A., & Martin, R. A. (2006). Sense of humor, emotional intelligence, and social competence. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 1202–1208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marist CollegePoughkeepsieUSA
  2. 2.Dominican CollegeOrangeburgUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gary L Brase
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA