A Behavioral Genetic Study of Relationships Between Humor Styles And The Six HEXACO Personality Factors


  • Livia Veselka
  • Julie A. Schermer
  • Rod A. Martin
  • Lynn F. Cherkas
  • Tim D. Spector
  • Philip A. Vernon


In this study, four humor styles (affiliative, self-enhancing, aggressive, self-defeating) were assessed in conjunction with a measure of the HEXACO model of personality, in order to gain greater insight into the etiology of these humor styles, and to situate them better in the framework of human personality. Participants were 664 monozygotic twin pairs and 522 dizygotic twin pairs from the United Kingdom who completed the Humor Styles Questionnaire and the HEXACO Personality Inventory. Univariate behavioral genetic analyses of the HEXACO revealed that individual differences in all of its dimensions were entirely attributable to additive genetic and non-shared environmental factors. Significant phenotypic correlations were found between many of the HEXACO factors and the four humor styles, and bivariate behavioral genetic analyses revealed that these correlations were themselves accounted for entirely by correlated genetic and correlated non-shared environmental factors. Our study adds to the literature validating humor as a personality construct and assessing its relations to psychological well-being.