The Four Humor Styles

The Four Humor Styles

What does your humor style say about you?

Humor is created when you take what is “normal” and flip it. Some of us may use humor to make others laugh while others get their kicks making snarky remarks. But did you know that your humor style can say a lot about how well you deal with stress?

With a set list of guidelines in our heads as to what is normal and abnormal, our brains use humor as a coping mechanism to new ideas and experiences. On the other hand, both humor and fear are coping mechanisms, and there is a fine line between them. Having a sense of humor shows people that you understand what is normal but that you are also able to step out of the norm. Constantly making remarks outside the norm in a non-ironic fashion will just make people think you’re a psychopath.

So what are all the different types of humor? And what do they say about us? Luckily, as of 2003, we have the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ), a self-report inventory developed by psychologists Rod Martin and Patricia Doris to measure individual differences in styles of humor. There are four types of humor according to this test, two positive and two negative:






  • Jokes everyone can relate to
  • Creates a sense of fellowship


  • Using outrageous vocal intonations or facial expressions

  • Creating a sense of camaraderie by relaying shared opinions or experiences

What It Says About You

You are very accepting of yourself and others. You like new experiences and love being able to share them with others. Because you are very group oriented and have a large support system, you do not get stressed easily.


  • Being able to laugh at yourself
  • Helps cope with stress


  • Ironic comments to make bad situations amusing

  • Pointing out the idiosyncrasies in everyday life

What It Says About You

You have fairly high self-esteem and try to be optimistic. Although you may poke fun at yourself when bad things happen, you don’t outright mock yourself because you respect yourself more than you like making people laugh. While stress may occur in your life, you always try to find the silver linings and make the best of it.


  • Put-downs, insults, and criticism
  • Separates oneself from something viewed as lesser or uncomfortable


  • Sarcastic or critical commentary on people, ideas, or events
  • Covering feelings of anger or discomfort with snide remarks

What It Says About You

You tend to be inwardly critical of others and feel that the world is equally hostile. While most of your jokes are meant as playful jabs to convey your opinions, some people may find them offensive. Stress may get the better of you since your humor style relies on closing yourself off from things and people.


  • Putting oneself down
  • Attempts to deflect insecurities


  • Ironically pointing out one’s weaknesses or failures to others
  • Making oneself the butt of a joke

What It Says About You

You crave others’ approval and may deny to yourself the validity of your problems. When something bad occurs, you may try to mitigate it by getting others to laugh as laughter must mean something is not a big deal. You are easily stressed because you try to ignore your problems or rely on others for validation that your problems are real.

Keep in mind that everyone has a little bit of all of the four humors with one or two being dominant. While having affiliative or self-enhancing is always great, using a little of the negative humors isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just keep common social cues in mind and you won’t cross the line between humor and fear. Probably.

Cover Image Credit:

Popular Right Now

14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."


In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...


I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

Related Content

Facebook Comments