Why does humour make someone so incredibly attractive?

In the recent podcast of the Universiteit van Nederland, UYA member Dr. Madelijn Strick explains why humour is important for dating, and how it can improve your love life.

Dr. Madelijn Strick (photo: Ed van Rijswijk)

When you make a joke or when you laugh about a joke, there is a clear effect in your brain: the prefrontal cortex becomes active. This part of your brain helps you to connect pieces of information, such as the punchline of a joke. When you understand the joke, another part of your brain becomes active. This is the ‘reward area’, which is the same area that becomes active when you enjoy things like sex, chocolate, and drugs.

Dr. Madelijn Strick further explains that research shows that heterosexual women are often attracted to men with humour, and that men are often looking for a woman who laughs about their jokes. A useful piece of advice for future dates: plan a fun activity! Experiments teach us that when couples do something fun and active during their date, they like each other more afterwards than couples that do not do these fun activities. This is because the reward area of the brain becomes activate during such an activity. That positive feeling is connected to the person that you are experiencing it with. Her scientific date advice? Sing karaoke, play the game of Twister, or go curling for guaranteed success.

See the full lecture here (only in Dutch).