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Heritability

  • By: Gil Greengross
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Heritability of humor refers to the portion of the sense of humor that can be attributed to genetic factors inherited from the parents. If humor is heritable, then it likely played a significant role throughout our evolutionary history. To separate the different influences of genetic and environmental factors on humor, researchers usually compare genetic relatives with various degrees of relatedness. Using statistical tools, they can then extract how much similarity in sense of humor is due to shared genetic makeup and how much is due to shared and nonshared environment. This entry describes studies that tested whether different types of humor are inherited and, if so, to what degree.

The best way to determine how much of the sense of humor is heritable is by comparing ...

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