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Abstract

According to reviews by Goodchilds (1972) and Lieberman (1977) of research on humor, the least studied component of the humorous event is the humorous person. Results of two studies investigating the relation between individual differences in self-monitoring and humor production are reported. In the first study, subjects completed a self-report measure of humorousness, captioned as many cartoons as possible within five minutes, and performed a three-minute monologue. The second study involved a group-discussion task. As predicted, high self-monitors compared to low self-monitors rated themselves as more humorous, generated more humorous cartoon captions, produced more humorous monologues, and were nominated by group participants as having made more witty remarks. The humorousness of the high self-monitors was discussed in terms of control of affective display and mastery of interpersonal skills required to initiate and maintain social interaction.