Singaporean humor: A cross-cultural, cross-gender comparison

Ofra Nevo, Baruch Nevo, Janie Leong Siew Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One hundred and nineteen undergraduate students (62 men and 57 women) of Chinese origin at the National University of Singapore answered three self-report humor questionnaires. Students were also asked to supply their favorite joke (M. A. Johnson, 1991) and a description of a person with an outstanding sense of humor (M. Crawford and D. Gressley, 1991). These responses were compared with results obtained using the same questionnaires and methods in previous studies in Israel and the United States. In general, means and reliabilities of results obtained from the Singapore study replicated those found in other countries. However, Singaporean participants reported significantly less use of humor for coping. Content analysis of jokes supplied by Singaporean students reflected conservative values: Compared with American students, they reported a significantly greater number of jokes with aggressive content and relatively fewer jokes with sexual content. Contrary to expectations, very few gender differences were found. Regardless of gender, a majority of participants nominated a man as an example of a person with an outstanding sense of humor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of General Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001


  • Cultural differences in humor
  • Gender differences in humor
  • Singaporean humor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Gender Studies


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