The Daily Mail reports that men with a sense of humor are more likely to be seen as intelligent, more honest, and better material for a relationship or friendship. In order to arrive at this conclusion, Psychologist Kristofor McCarty asked 45 women the personalities behind a series of personal ads, some of which were funny and some of which were simply factual. Although the descriptions contained no information about the man's IQ, women were more likely to rate the humorous ad-writers as smart and trustworthy.
McCarty presented his research at the British Psychological Society's annual conference. McCarty said that there is a "kind of halo effect. The funny guys appear to be getting everything," which they use to their advantage. "For a man that doesn't look like Brad Pitt, it gives them a bit of hope," he said.
This sounds fairly reasonable, except then we get to the evolutionary bit:
It is thought women equate wit with brains - perceiving funny men as good providers and good father material.
Mr McCarty said: "From an evolutionary point of view the reason a woman wants to look for a humorous guy is because it is a sign of intelligence and intelligence gives a man the ability to provide resources for their children and survive rather than falling down a trap and dying."
Of course, babies had to be involved in some way. Women couldn't just prefer the more humorous personal ads because they seemed like better partners, or more fun. Ugh.
The Daily Mail also points out that society does not extend such benevolent feelings to funny ladies. McCarty does not think that men are out there combing through the personal ads for the wittiest partner available; "When a man says he would like a woman with a good sense of humor, he really means one that will laugh at his jokes," he said.
Who Gets The Girl? Funny Men Have The Last Laugh [Daily Mail]