“Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) has well-known links with humor appreciation, such as enjoying jokes that target deviant groups, but less is known about RWA and creative humor production – coming up with funny ideas oneself.”
To test the ground, a research team from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of Pennsylvania, US, devised a set of experiments. 186 participants (students) were shown cartoons* and asked to suggest a caption. They were also shown jokes without punchlines, which they were invited to provide. Example :
The set of participants were also rated with regard to their RWA attitudes :
“RWA was measured with Zakrisson’s (2005) scale, which assesses authoritarian beliefs without referring to specific social groups.”
“Taken together, the findings suggest that people high in RWA just aren’t very funny.”
See : Right-wing authoritarians aren’t very funny: RWA, personality, and creative humor production in Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 170, 15 February 2021, 110421
*Note: For copyright reasons, the cartoons are not shown here – nevertheless, they are available for viewing.
Research research by Martin Gardiner