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Humor Study - Instructor Resources


I hope you enjoyed the post and activity on the world's funniest joke. Here is some additional information about the study in case you want to use it with your students.


The activity was created using Google Sites, Forms and Spreadsheets (all free tools). Here's the flow of the activity:


Flow of the Humor Study.jpeg
  • The Independent variable here is age since the respondents were split into two groups by age. Remember to point out to your students that this is not a true independent variable, since we did not randomly assign respondents to their ages.
  • The dependent variable is the ratings given to the two jokes on the 1-10 scales.
  • The dependent variable is an ordinal scale
  • If students want to copy the data from the spreadsheets and analyze it, the appropriate statistic would be either two between groups t-tests (average rating for joke 1 by gender, average rating for joke 2 by gender). A 2x2 ANOVA could be used, with Gender as one factor and Joke as the other. Funniness ratings from 1-10 are again the dependent variable.

Possible Confounds:

  1. Since we separated respondents by whether they were above or below 30, we don't know much about their true age. One person who was 29 could wind up in one group while her friend who is 30 would wind up in another. So this is perhaps not the best way to define "older" from "younger" people.
  2. Since the study is conducted online (unless you have students do this on their computers/phones while in class), we have no control over the physical surroundings while respondents participated. Among of noise in the room is uncontrolled and possibly a factor in the ratings.
  3.  Did participants actually read the jokes? Since the study is conducted online, you really don’t know how seriously participants engaged in the study. Did they carefully read the instructions and the jokes - or did they just pick any number and click submit?


Here's the link back to the post called "World's Funniest Joke".


We hope you find this study useful in your classes.  If you'd like a copy of the files used in this study for your own use, feel free to get in touch with Michael Britt: