“If you ask people about their experience of falling in love, over 90 percent will say that a major factor was discovering that the other person liked them,” according to Dr. This idea is affirmed by studying the effectiveness of “playing hard to get.” What’s the best way to play that game?
When a woman is very attracted to a man, whether his pickup line is good or not doesn’t matter at all.
Consistent with this, Robert Provine analyzed more than 3000 singles ads and found that women were more likely to describe their good humor appreciation ability whereas men were more likely to offer good humor production ability.
Gil Greengross and Geoffrey Miller found in a sample of 400 university students that general intelligence and verbal intelligence both predicted humor production ability (writing captions for cartoons), which in turn predicted lifetime number of sexual partners (a proxy of reproductive success).
They found, however, that males showed higher average levels of humor production ability, which is consistent with the sexual selection perspective.
From these results, Greengross argues that a sense of humor evolved at least partly through sexual selection as an intelligence indicator.