Taiwanese are not funny enough: university study

Study of Asperger's shows that sense of humor can be learned

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NTNU Professor Chen Hsueh-chih (first right).

NTNU Professor Chen Hsueh-chih (first right). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese do not rate highly on the international scale for sense of humor, but such a sense can be learned, a research team at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) said Wednesday (November 27).

Professor Chen Hsueh-chih (陳學志) and his group spent 30 years studying the subject, and came to the conclusion that Taiwanese only rated No.15 on a list of 22 countries for their sense of humor, the Liberty Times reported.

Presenting the results of his study at the Ministry of Science and Technology Wednesday, Chen said Taiwan finished below average on the subject, while Italians were the most adept at using humor.

Analyzing the responses of the 7,226 Taiwanese citizens who took part in the survey, Chen’s team found that men often used humor which attacked or even denigrated others, while women were more considerate, though married couples would show the same style of humor after 10 years together.

NTNU also paid special attention to children with Asperger Syndrome, and concluded that it was possible to teach them a sense of humor. The professor said politicians should be careful to use more moderate, self-deprecating humor, the Liberty Times reported.