Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale (MSHS)
James A. Thorson and F. C. Powell
Self-report scale

The MSHS contains 24 statements that respondants rate on a five-point Likert scale from 0 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). Eighteen statements are positively-phrased and six are negatively-phrased to control for response-set bias.

Number of Items
24 items

In addition to an overall Sense of Humor score, factor analysis of the MSHS indicates four principal factors: (1) humor creativity and uses of humor for social purposes, (2) uses of coping humor, (3) appreciation of humorous people, and (4) appreciation of humor.


The MSHS is useful for comparing groups on sense of humor for determining correlates between sense of humor and other personality variables.

10 minutes or less
On the ISHS website or from the first author at
Validity & Reliability Information
Internal reliability good (alpha = .92). Additional reliability and validity information can be found in: Kohler, G., & Ruch, W. (1996). Sources of variance in current sense of humor inventories. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 9, 363-397.
Reference Articles

Thorson, J.A., & Powell, F.C. (1991). Measurement of sense of humor. Psychological Reports,
, 691-701.

Thorson, J.A., & Powell, F.C. (1993). Development and validation of a Multidimensional Sense of

       Humor Scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 49, 13-23.

Thorson, J.A., & Powell, F.C. (1993). Sense of Humor and dimensions of personality. Journal of

       Clinical Psychology, 49, 799-809.

Thorson, J.A., & Powell, F.C. (1996). Women, aging, and sense of humor. Humor: International

      Journal of Humor Research, 9, 169-186.

Online Materials
                 MSHS Questionnaire                 Original Sample and Scoring Information