The Humor Quotient Newsletter
Vol. 1, No. 2, November 1995, Winona, MN 55987
Holy Family Research Establishes Humor Age Shift
[Dr. Dan Holtís work at Holy Family College helped establish that men score more highly as Crusaders on the HQT, women as Consolers. (See HQN 1.1). His further report:]
I am dealing with undergraduate and graduate students majoring in education at a small (2500) private Catholic College in the northeast corner of Philadelphia. Money magazine recently described the school as one of the top ten best buys in commuter college education in America.
Students participating in the HQT reflect the general student body. Over 95% of the students are white and from the middle class. The graduate school at this point is limited to education majors.
Using both Holy Family and Winona State data, we have found a strong age shift among male respondents. For men over 30 (n=30), the data indicate a marked decrease in Crusader rank compared to men under 30 (n=122). For men over 30, only 30% were above-average Crusaders compared to 62% of men under 30. Put another way, menís humor personalities range toward the Consoler end of the scale with age. (Incidentally, there were quite different results for our women respondents; more on that in the next issue of HQN.)
Winona State and Holy Family Male Respondentsí
Under 30 Over 30
Above Average 76 (62%) 9 (30%)
Below Average 46 (38%) 21 (70%)
Totals 122 (100%) 30 (100%)
The Fun of HQT Research
[The HQT database now contains results from more than 500 respondents, and we expect several hundred additional responses this academic year. A number of humor scholars have accepted invitations to work with the HQT, and a number have had questions about its use. Dan Holt addresses some of these issues: perhaps you would like to be part of this collaborative research:]
Administering the Humor Quotient Test is easy and fun for all those involved. I have now administered the HQT on several occasions and found it to be fun, not only for those taking it, but also for myself because participantsí laughter is contagious and energizing.
Approximately 30 minutes are sufficient for the initial administration of the test. To begin, I ask that participants look at the definition of the six HQT personality categories. I then request that participants predict the category into which they will fall. After that, I request they fill out a brain laterality preference sheet provided with the test and then move on to the test itself. The instructions are very simple and usually generate no questions.
Then I sit back and enjoy the laughter.
After scoring the tests, I return the results to the subjects and go over the categories again, answering all questions and requesting comments on the prediction form regarding the accuracy of the participantsí predictions versus the test result.
Dan G. Holt, Holy Family College
Humor as Negotiation Technique: Gender Differences
[HQN intends to cover more than the on-going results of the Humor Quotient Test. The following updates experimental results reported to the Paris Humor Conference in 1992.]
Can joking be considered a technique for successful negotiation? On-going research begun at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN and continued at Winona State University, Winona, MN creates a carefully controlled legislative simulation in which students negotiate a state budget. The simulation tests whether several humor factors influence negotiation outcomes.
Each legislative simulation participant represents one of five portfolios: K-12 Education, Colleges and Universities, Welfare, DNR, and Highways. After finalizing a declining budget, each participant indicates which of the negotiators in the group were especially notable for particular negotiation techniques.
Being noted for particular techniques can then be compared to negotiation results. Comparing final budget allocations for each portfolio yields a ranking for each participant on an absolute mathematical scale from I (most successful) to V (least successful). Among other statistical comparisons, success rank can be correlated to particular negotiation techniques.
One of the techniques investigated in this study is use of jokes. Overall, men are nearly twice as likely to be noted for joking during negotiation (average noted=2.15) as are women (average noted=1.28). The difference is well above 99% confidence.
For men, jokes are part of a successful strategy: men in Ranks I and II are more noted for joke use (average noted=2.6) while men in Ranks III, IV, and V are less noted (average noted=1.9).
For women, the reverse is true: high joke use is associated with loss, women in Rank V belong much more noted for joking (2.0) than women in Ranks I-IV (1.1).
It seems then that women rightly do less joking and men rightly do more for good negotiation results.
Negotiation Recognition for Jokes by Sex and Success Rank
As discussed in the earlier paper for Paris, reactive Humor (taking kidding, laughing, being good humored) is an entirely different matter and works entirely differently in negotiation success. Gender differences in the negotiation use of reactive humor are scheduled for discussion in a coming issue.
Robin Jaeckle Grawe, Winona State University
As we go to press, two humor sections are scheduled for the Midlands Conference on Language and Literature sponsored by Creighton University March 31óApril 1.The sections deal with gallows humor, senior citizen humor, and humor as literary theory. MCLL is a growing regional center for humor papers. For next yearís conference, contact: Prof. Kathleen Collins, English Department, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178.
The Twin WSU and Bush Grants on Critical Thinking and Personality Correlations will be the subject of an update session at AAHE in Boston, MA this June. Only the most preliminary correlations should be available at that time. Watch HQN as statistical results become available.