Relation between humor and empathic concern

Psychol Rep. 2001 Feb;88(1):241-4. doi: 10.2466/pr0.2001.88.1.241.


A series of studies have shown that humor is associated with close interpersonal relationships and effective in reducing stress, which in turn enhances empathy. Therefore, it was hypothesized that humor and empathic concern would be positively correlated. The Empathic Concern subscale of the Empathy Questionnaire, the Coping Humor Scale, the Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale, and the Situational Humor Response Questionnaire were given to 124 subjects. Scores on the Empathic Concern subscale were significantly correlated with those on each of the humor scales. Types of humor may be an important variable in the relationship between empathic concern and humor. Both humor and empathic concern are associated for people with emotional intelligence who use these to interact effectively with other individuals. As such, it was suggested that exploration would yield a relation between humor and emotional self-awareness, which is also associated with emotional intelligence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Perception
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wit and Humor as Topic*