Is sense of humor related to intelligence?

senseofhumor1Humor is one of the great mysteries of the human order. If you ask a hundred experts on why we laugh, there would likely be a hundred different answers. In the same vein, intelligence is also a mystery as it can project a whole host of definitions. So the question comes – is sense of humor related to intelligence? The answer to the question is ‘Yes.’ If you look at the newborn babies, they express laughter in the presence of positive external stimuli, but can be related to humor? Probably not in quite the same sense as we are likely to think of it. I think a true sense of humor comes with development of intellectual capacity. So in that context, humor is obviously a sign of intelligence.

I have observed that people who have good sense of humor are intelligent in their mental makeup. If you see the live comedy shows on television, most of the comedians are very good with their dialogue timings, they are attentive and well prepared. They know when and how to fill the gaps and the exact moments where to make people laugh. They are clever and good observers. They draw very intelligent inferences of incidents happening around the world, they can detect nuances in delivering serious matters in an amusing way. Basically comedians are observant and are gifted people; they fill the gaps. They are good actors. I suppose intelligence, helps in understanding other people. It also helps in upgrading abilities both mental and physical. Humorists are usually quite introspective; with a passionate curiosity for “why people do what they do” and this curiosity about people is strongly correlated with intelligence.

The great, talented and endowed people such as P.K.Atre, P.L.Deshpande in Marathi were so intelligent in their speeches that people would throng and the venues of their speeches would be jam-packed. Their speeches were well worded, humorous and very well timed. They had the abilities to crack vulgar jokes without vulgar words or vulgar gestures. In Hindi cinema Mehmood, Jhony Walker, Mukri, Agha, Om Prakash and of course Kishore Kumar were the great lot of intelligent actors who could combine subtleness with a splash of vulgarity in their intelligent dialogue delivery and superb timing.  But, sadly today’s standup comedians don’t know where to draw a line; the more vulgar they speak, the less funny they sound.

senseofhumor2It’s worth a recall that in 1960s comedians like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Lenny Bruce literally started a sexual revolution; their dialogues thrived on ‘F’ words. They liberated sexuality which was until then a forbidden topic.  They could think outside the box. It’s worth recognizing the fact that since the audience usually thinks inside the box, there is surprise that you didn’t really understand where the joke was going – this surprise is what makes humor work. And this is why timing is so crucial to humor. It’s too fast, too subtle, and no one in the audience understands.

Friends if you can laugh and if you enjoy comedy thank your stars, because there are so many people, those who appear to have no sense of humor at all; there is an evidence that people who have suffered brain damage, particularly to the right hemisphere of the brain, are less able to understand jokes. Other people who have all their mental faculties intact still seem to have a problem with humor. They make what they think are jokes, while remaining unmindful to the fact that no-one is laughing. Trust me; being able to hang on to a sense of humor is an incredibly positive trait. Humor has fantastic coping mechanism and has a escalation cycle, because the more you are able to see the funny side and laugh off the difficulties in life the more stronger you become emotionally and mentally.

Humor allows us to see things from a different perspective; it is something that all the best cartoonists and comedians in the world do. If you look the happiest and most successful people around you, one thing worth knowing about them is that they don’t just stop at one way of looking at a situation; they explore other ways. That’s also the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is very successful in treating all kinds of depression.

senseofhumor3We always find humor only within our fellow human beings. We see laughter in some animal species, but that appears to be a different expression from humor. So if we were to presume this anthropocentric viewpoint, then we see at least a correlation between the two.

Humor helps us to accept our own flaws; self-acceptance doesn’t have to be hard work. We can develop some of our most enjoyable flaws. Humor helps us to find out when not to have the last word. Humor also helps us to get rid of being afraid to ask silly questions. Please don’t forget that the most perfect moments usually happen at the most imperfect time. Having a sense of humor works, it tells us that we are imperfect beings and I feel that intelligence is needed to recognize this imperfection in ourselves.

Life is so short and we want to do so much – our list of doing things is big. As such, we should learn how to make it through life with a minimum of negative emotions that tend to drag us down. By simmering in our emotions, particularly the more powerful and self-destructive ones, we are not only shortening our lifespan, we are also making what time we do have here on earth less than fulfilling. So friends, make efforts of laughing as much as possible. Watch more comedy movies and comedy dramas. Read a lot of funny novels. Share something silly about yourself with friends, laugh at yourself, and help your friends to get a laugh out of them.

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A Professor with 15 years of teaching and 20 years industry experience. My core teaching areas are Marketing Strategy and General Management. While I am a Professor of Marketing and General Management, I have also worked as Director of few Management Institutes in Mumbai. I am a research guide in Mumbai University, SNDT University and YCMOU (Yashwantrao Chawan Maharashtra Open University, Nasik) 6 students have got their PhD degree under my guidance so far, and 11 students are registered for their PhD with me. Research is my passion, and I work on live projects from the industry. I strongly believe that the principal goal of research is to discover new knowledge, while that of teaching is to impart well-established knowledge and provide training in problem-solving. At present I am working as a Director for a Center of Excellence with an 80 years old Educational institution in Mumbai. I am a results-driven researcher, qualified with a PhD in Marketing Management from Pune University, a Post Doctoral Degree D.Litt from Mumbai University. I have authored above 100 articles and research which are published in news papers, business magazines and research journals. I have also authored two books. I am appointed as a Senate Member in Swami Ramanand Teertha Marathwada University, Nanded as the Maharashtra Governor’s nominee. Today we need greater industry-academia collaboration in research in institutes of higher education. I am confident that I will be able to facilitate the organizations with my research skills to create, integrate, and apply advancements in tricky areas. Thus, in my own way I could collaborate between industry and academia. I am curious, responsible, knowledgeable person with a scholarly approach.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Very Interesting article madam, I truly agree madam ” Is sense of humor related to intelligence? cent percent yes madam, madam so beautifully you had coated the article with good examples of Marathi actor P.K. Atre and P.L.Deshpande and from hindi cinema Mehmood sahab, mukri, johny walker, om prakash, and off course one of the multi talent great singer, fine actor and good comedian Kishore kumar da.. thank you madam today life is so busy and so fast and lots or challenges and competition so its really difficulty to remove time to laugh and make other laugh but all of us we should do it. from your article. Thank you madam for writing such a nice and interesting article some time we spend and from this I remember some of the hindi movie song it tells that ” Zindagi husne gaane ke liye hai pal do pal , Isse koh nahi , Koh ke rohna nahi”, another one” pooch kar apni askho ko muskuraho toh koi baat bane”, “sochna kya jo bi hogo dekha jayega kal ke liye aaj kyun hum khona, aaj ye phir waqt kal nahi ayega, really we get only one life to live so live the life in the fullest and enjoy whatever you have , be happy and make happy others from your presence. thank you once again madam I liked it.

  2. Very Interesting article madam, I truly agree madam ” Is sense of humor related to intelligence? cent percent yes madam, madam so beautifully you had coated the article with good examples of Marathi actor P.K. Atre and P.L.Deshpande and from hindi cinema Mehmood sahab, mukri, johny walker, om prakash, and off course one of the multi talent great singer, fine actor and good comedian Kishore kumar da.. thank you madam today life is so busy and so fast and lots or challenges and competition so its really difficulty to remove time to laugh and make other laugh but all of us we should do it. from your article. Thank you madam for writing such a nice and interesting article some time we spend and from this I remember some of the hindi movie song it tells that ” Zindagi husne gaane ke liye hai pal do pal , Isse koh nahi , Koh ke rohna nahi”, another one” pooch kar apni askho ko muskuraho toh koi baat bane”, “sochna kya jo bi hogo dekha jayega kal ke liye aaj kyun hum khona, aaj ye phir waqt kal nahi ayega, really we get only one life to live so live the life in the fullest and enjoy whatever you have , be happy and make happy others from your presence. thank you once again madam I liked it.

  3. Very Nice and very Interesting article madam, I truly agree madam ” Is sense of humor related to intelligence? cent percent yes madam, madam so beautifully you had coated the article with good examples of Marathi actor P.K. Atre and P.L.Deshpande and from hindi cinema Mehmood sahab, mukri, johny walker, om prakash, and off course one of the multi talent great singer, fine actor and good comedian Kishore kumar da.. thank you madam today life is so busy and so fast and lots or challenges and competition so its really difficulty to remove time to laugh and make other laugh but all of us we should do it. from your article. Thank you madam for writing such a nice and interesting article some time we spend and from this I remember some of the hindi movie song it tells that ” Zindagi husne gaane ke liye hai pal do pal , Isse koh nahi , Koh ke rohna nahi”, another one” pooch kar apni askho ko muskuraho toh koi baat bane”, “sochna kya jo bi hogo dekha jayega kal ke liye aaj kyun hum khona, aaj ye phir waqt kal nahi ayega, really we get only one life to live so live the life in the fullest and enjoy whatever you have , be happy and make happy others from your presence. thank you once again madam I liked it.

  4. Good article and an interesting one, dear madam very true those actor really they were talented and intelligent they fill the gap of the line , but todays in reality show some thing is missing in them what those great artist and actor where or use to. . what a best way to give a tribute to those fine and intelligence actor of 60’s 70’s and 80’s . I really enjoyed it . thank you madam for writing such an interesting article . I liked it.

  5. Many thanks to u madam for your article of the day I can vouch that humorous people are definitely intelligent.You have rightly mentioned the names of Atre and p l deshpande apert from the film comedians of yore the article is worth reading

  6. It was worth reading article on humor. It requires lot of intelligence to create a good humor
    out of day to day happenings around us.

  7. I agree with you completely on this article …That a person having a great sense of humour has to be intelligent or wise enough…as he has to know as to ‘when, how, where and in what manner’ the joke has to be cracked & if he is the butt of the joke then he should take everything in his stride & be the first one to laugh at him/herself which is becoming really very very difficult because of the most evil word”EGO”…and only an Intelligent man has the ability to overcome it & laugh the loudest when ridiculed. Thank u Madam

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