Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ)
Rod A. Martin and Patricia Doris
Self-report scale (peer-report versions also available)
The HSQ consists of 32 items, each of which is a self-descriptive statement about particular uses of humor. Respondents rate the degree to which each statement describes them on a scale from 1 (totally disagree) to 7 (totally agree). Scores are obtained for 4 subscales relating to potentially beneficial and detrimental ways people typically make use of humor in their everyday lives.
Number of Items
32 items (8 for each subscale)
Four humor styles: (1) Affiliative ( use of humor to amuse others and facilitate relationships); (2) Self-enhancing (use of humor to cope with stress and maintain a humorous outlook during times of difficulty); (3) Aggressive (use of sarcastic, manipulative, put-down, or disparaging humor); (4) Self-defeating (use of humor for excessive self-disparagement, ingratiation, or defensive denial)
Adults and adolescents
Useful for assessing both positive and negative styles of humor in correlational research on the role of humor in psychological and physical health and well-being, friendships, romantic relationships, etc. Also potentially useful for individual self-assessment of humor styles in applied or educational settings.
10 minutes
Online at or from Rod Martin at
Validity & Reliability Information
Reliability of the four scales is demonstrated by internal consistencies of .77 to .81, test-retest reliabilities of .80 to .85. Evidence of validity includes theoretically meaningful differential correlations with other measures of sense of humor, self-esteem, psychological well-being, hostility, coping, intimacy, social support, relationship satisfaction, five-factor model of personality, etc.
Reference Article
Martin, R. A., Puhlik-Doris, P., Larsen, G., Gray, J., & Weir, K. (2003). Individual differences in uses of humor and their relation to psychological well-being: Development of the Humor Styles Questionnaire. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 48-75.
Online Materials
Humorous Styles Questionnaire with Scoring Information