If you ask anyone what they're seeking in a dating match, online or off, chances are they'll say "sense of humor" as a top characteristic their future boyfriend or girlfriend has to have. Well, eHarmony just found out the type of humor most likely to get online matches, so get your and your phones or laptops ready to log in. To get the scoop, they studied more than 1,500 users, ages 18-98, via an online survey between April 2017 and June 2017 and discovered the six kinds of humor personalities that are most prevalent, and who's most likely to communicate with a match. And, yes, humor compatibility's a real thing. Just think back to someone you dated, but you two found different things funny… exactly!
"We were inspired to start this line of research because humor has always been extremely important for anyone seeking a great relationship," Grant Langston, CEO of eHarmony, tells Bustle. "What other studies in this area haven't discovered are the distinct styles of humor that various people find funny, and how that affects attraction and long-term happiness. We found that the people who share the same humor styles have a better chance at a very happy (and fun!) long-term relationship."
Participants of e Harmony's member base were asked to rate how funny they found a series of memes on a scale of one to five. Then, eHarmony's team of scientists discovered that they could assess and score people on six types of reactive humor: Bodily Humor, Dark Humor, Physical Humor, Self-Deprecating Humor, Surreal Humor, and Wordplay Humor. Without further ado, here's how each one scored, from most to least popular, because you have to see the categories first to see how they do later, when it comes time to matching.
1. Physical Humor
Respondents scored physical humor memes, aka physical acts, scaring others, pranks, or falling, as the funniest, with an average score of 2.97. More men than women found Physical Humor funny, 3.16 versus 2.89.
2. Bodily Humor
Bodily Humor, which included toilet humor, bodily functions, and humor that's sexual in nature, came in second place, with an average score of 2.91.
3. Self-Deprecating Humor
Self-Deprecating Humor, wherein an individual makes fun of themselves and their shortcomings for the enjoyment of others, came in third place, with an average score of 2.86. Women found self-deprecating humor funnier than men, 2.92 versus 2.71.
4. Wordplay Humor
Who doesn't love Wordplay Humor, right? All the puns, emphasis on unexpected meanings, and usage of certain words that you can possibly come up with… Well, it came in fifth place, with an average score of 2.49, 2.51 women as pun fans versus 2.42 men.
5. Surreal Humor
Surreal Humor, the kind that's predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, producing events, and behaviors that are illogical, came in fifth place, with an average score of 2.48, women being bigger fans of it than men, 2.50 versus 2.44, respectively.
6. Dark Humor
Yes, Dark Humor, making light of people and subjects that are generally considered serious or taboo, came in last, in sixth place, with an average score of 2.02. Men found dark humor funnier than women did, 2.17 versus 1.97.
How Your Sense Of Humor Affects Matching
After the above humor types were identified, respondents' humor scores were used to predict their communication across the first 13 days following eHarmony profile creation, and various communication behaviors were explored, like the number of times the respondent viewed people they matched with, the number of messages that the respondent received, and even the rate at which the respondent received responses when they were the user to initiate communication.
According to a spokesperson at eHarmony, the dating site does not currently emphasize humor when presenting matches. However, the above uncovered some small effects on the topic.
1. *Any* Type Of Humor Is Better Than No Humor
They found that the most consistent effect found suggests that people who find any type of humor funnier are more likely to send communication to matches that they view. However, if you want specifics, those who found Wordplay Humor funnier were significantly more likely to be viewed by matches, whereas those who found Surreal Humor funnier were significantly less likely to be viewed by matches. Respondents' matches viewed was significantly predicted by the combination of all humors, too. Those who found Wordplay Humor funnier were significantly more likely to viewed their matches, whereas those who found Surreal Humor funnier were significantly less likely to view their matches.
2. Respondents' Comm Sent Rate Was Statistically Predicted By Their Humor Types
People who found Wordplay and Physical Humor funnier were statistically ~more likely~ to send communication to matches after viewing their profiles.
3. Respondents' Two-Way Comm Was Statistically Predicted By Their Humor Types
People who found Surreal Humor funnier were statistically ~less likely~ to engage in two-way communication with matches.
4. Respondents' Comm Sent Was Significantly Predicted By The Combination Of All Humors
Specifically speaking, eHarmony discovered that finding Wordplay Humor funny was related to sending more messages while finding Surreal Humor funny was related to sending fewer. "In terms of desired humor types, it's intriguing to see that people who use Wordplay Humor attract the most matches and send more initial messages," says Langston. "Our research process is ongoing. We will be incorporating the humor assessment into the eHarmony service to find out even more about individuals' own styles of humor."
So it looks like there really is such a thing as humor compatibility, and I'm curious what else is discovered. After all, it can affect our love lives, and that's a big deal.