The Role of Creative Potential and Intelligence for Humor Production

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Abstract

The ability to come up with good puns or jokes has been variantly viewed as an indicator of intelligence or creativity. Although the empirical literature provides support for both associations, it remains unclear whether intelligence and creativity independently contribute to the production of humor. To test this notion, a humor production test was devised that asked participants (n = 151) to generate funny punch lines to six caption-removed cartoons. The results showed that intelligence and creative potential predict humor production ability independently. Specifically, divergent thinking fluency and creativity as well as crystallized intelligence explained unique variance of the funniness of humor productions. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of domain-general abilities involved in the production of humor.

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