Birds of a Feather Laugh Together: An Investigation of Humour Style Similarity in Married Couples


  • Christian Martin Hahn
  • Lorne John Campbell


The present research investigated the degree of similarity in humour styles between spouses as assessed with the Humour Styles Questionnaire (HSQ). Furthermore, self-esteem was investigated as a potential moderator of partner humour style similarity. A sample of 116 heterosexual, married couples independently completed questionnaires assessing self-reported humour styles across the 32 item HSQ, as well as global self-esteem. Results indicated that there is significant positive association between the humour styles of married partners. This association was moderated by individual self-esteem. Specifically, participants with high self-esteem were found to have greater humour style similarity with their partners. Similarity was also greater for positive compared to negative types of humour. Implications for the use of dyadic data in investigating the roles of humour within couples are discussed.