Dr. Thorson's Multi-Dimensional Sense of Humor Scale
My scores... Take the test yourself here.
1. Your Creativity and Performance Score16
2. Your Coping Score14
3. Your Facilitation Score14
4. Your Appreciation Score16Total score60
Your Creativity and Performance Score : 16
Statements 1 through 4 have to do with humor creativity and performance. If your total score for these items is 15 or 16, you’re probably the life of the party. But you don’t have to be a wild and crazy guy to be creative. Maybe you think of the thing that will crack up the group, but you’re reluctant to say it. Or you think of the right response 10 minutes too late. The point is, you do think of it. You may have a subtler or quieter wit, and that’s all right. If you scored 6 or less on these first four items, though, maybe you’d be happier if you opened up a little. Nobody wants to cultivate a reputation for being dull.
Your Coping Score : 14
Items 5 through 8 deal with coping. It’s important to realize that you don’t have to have the weight of the world on your shoulders in order to use coping humor. We all face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. And even if you’re living a glorious life, you know that none of us gets out of this alive. So, having to cope might be situational, but it may also just be one of the good habits that prevent us from taking ourselves — or our lives — too seriously.
Our research indicates that women tend to score higher on the coping factor. This may seem paradoxical, as others’ research has shown women on average to be higher in depression, and coping humor is an antidote to depression. Either women are better able to admit vulnerability, or maybe they just have more to cope with. Scores of 13 to 16 indicate that you can laugh off in a healthy way much that might otherwise vex you. Scores of 8 to 12 suggest that you can often smile and go on. Scores of 4 to 7 may mean that you would be healthier if you laughed off some of your stressors.
Your Facilitation Score : 14
If you scored 14, 15, or 16 on Statements 9 through 12, you’re a facilitator. People mean so much to you that you’re willing to go out on a limb to ease their discomfort. You know that your coworkers are more productive when they’re happy, and you will go out of your way to try to cheer things up. Scores of 10 to 13 on these items don’t necessarily mean that you let other people stew; perhaps the situation demands some tension. If your scores on these items are low, though, you might study ways to inject humor into a situation.
Your Appreciation Score : 16
The last four items deal with appreciating humor. If you scored very low on questions 4 through 8, you might find that comedians really bug you. Do you think people don’t take things seriously enough? Perhaps you’re right. Or maybe you should take things less seriously. Read the comics before you read the obits.If, however, you can see hilarity in circumstances that others find mundane or distasteful, then perhaps you are blessed. Your optimism and playfulness go along with your rich appreciation of fun and funny people. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.
In our work with a longer (25-item) multidimensional sense of humor scale, we have found that situational variables are important in total sense of humor score. Combining the factors above, the sum may be dependent on who one is and where one is in life. Young males, for instance, tend to score fairly high on creativity and performance, probably because their peers value being funny.
Older people, on the other hand, score fairly low on these items. There may be a cohort effect here: Young people were not expected to be so demonstrative when these subjects were young. Or they may have found quiet appreciation of others’ humor more valuable than being the class clown.
Both older people and women tend to score high on the coping items. This may be a matter of their peers’ styles or expectations. Or they may use less humor in public and more within the in-group. They are facilitators, who enforce group norms using humor, or they may be those who ease tension by making light of what might otherwise be seen as threatening. Most psychologists agree that those who cope by using humor are healthier mentally, and perhaps physically and spiritually.
People who appreciate humor don’t have to use it to cope or as a social lubricant, nor do they have to be gag writers. They may just smile at life. We find, though, that those who appreciate humor also use it as a coping mechanism. And one has to have appreciation before one can learn to create. Facilitation often depends on creation and performance.
Total Score : 60
So, total your four scores. The maximum score is 64. If you’re near it, you let your sense of humor serve you, improving your quality of life.
If your total score is between 40 and 50, you use humor sometimes, but perhaps you could learn to let yourself go and enjoy more variety.
Did you score between 20 and 30? Well, you poor old gloomy thing. Less than 20? You need to make an effort to look on the bright side. Life has greater potential if you can loosen up and enjoy it. You don’t have to laugh out loud. Somebody might hear you. Just mellow out a bit. Pull my finger.