Sense of Humor and Creative Personality

The topic of personality characteristics leads us to another dimension in which humor and creativity are seen to demonstrate similarities. The creative person, including characteristics of the creative personality, has been more widely studied in the entire field than any of the other 'Four Ps' of creativity (the others are process, product, and ' press' or environment). Some examples of the many traits said to be typical of the creative person are originality, openness to experience, tolerance for ambiguity, self-confidence, unconventionality, and independence. Not surprisingly, many of the same characteristics are often linked to a person with a good sense of humor. Some researchers have found that extraversion, or the extent to which a person is socially outgoing, is correlated with self-reported sense of humor; however, the research evidence is somewhat mixed. The personality trait of psychoticism (being impulsive, aggressive, and insensitive to others) has been more consistently linked to sense of humor.

Despite a great deal of progress in the assessment of sense of humor, Ruch stated that there is still no standard measurement of sense of humor or theoretical framework upon which investigators generally agree. A complicating issue is that humor has been included in several measures which attempted to assess creative personality or creative potential, thus assuming that humor is a simply part of the creative personality and not conceptually distinct. For example, the Creative Personality Scale for the Adjective Check List includes 'humorous' (along with 'original' and 'clever') among its 18 items positively related to creativity.

Nonetheless, the definition of humor has been clarified by personality research. In 2008, Ruch demonstrated that nonsense and incongruity resolution appeal to different types of people, with nonsense more entertaining to the liberal, flexible, more creative individuals.

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