• Are men funnier than women, or do we just think they are?

      Hooper, Jade; Sharpe, Donald; Roberts, Sam G. B.; University of Chester (2016-03)
      Despite the widely held view that men are funnier than women, research supporting this view is inconsistent. Instead, the view that men are funnier than women may be a stereotype rather than a reflection of real differences in humor. Considering a previously found source memory bias in the attribution of funnier captions to men and less funny captions to women, this stereotype may be working to further perpetuate this mistaken belief. The current study aims to investigate this possible stereotype and further investigate an attribution bias arising from this stereotype. Two-hundred and twenty-eight participants from three countries (Britain, Canada, and Australia) rated the funniness of male and female-authored cartoon captions while blind to the gender of the caption authors. Participants were then asked to guess the gender of the caption authors and were also asked which gender they believe to be the funniest. Participants both male and female believed men are the funniest gender. However, this belief was not reflected in their ratings of the funniness of the cartoon captions. Support was found for a bias in attributing male authorship to the funniest cartoon captions, and female authorship to the least funny cartoon captions. This bias cannot not be attributed to source memory. It was suggested this stereotype may be self-fulfilling in nature and additional mechanisms maintaining this stereotype are proposed.