Sense of Humor Questionnaire (SHQ)
Sense of Humor Questionnaire (SHQ)
Self-report scale

The SHQ is a 21-item measure with 7 statements for each of three dimensions: Metamessage Sensitivity; Liking of Humorous Situations, and Emotional Expressiveness. Respondents indicate their agreement to each statement on a four point Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). Ten SHQ items are reverse scored.

Number of Items
21 items (7 items for each subscale)

Provides an overall sense of humor score and separate scores for Metamessage Sensitivity, Liking for Humorous Situations, and Emotional Expressiveness.

Adults and adolescents

Useful in correlational research for investigating relationships between sense of humor and other personality dimensions as well as measures of psychological and physical health and well-being.

Note: The author recommends that researchers who wish to use the original SHQ, should either exclude the Emotional Expressiveness items because of low reliablities or use the more recently developed SHQ-6 for the measurement of sense of humor.

10 minutes
Available on the ISHS website or from the author at
Internal consistency tends to be low to moderate for Metamessage Sensitivity (alpha = .47 to .59), Liking for Humorous Situations (.52 to .65), Emotional Expressiveness (.35 to .62). Test-retest reliabilities tend to fall in the .60 to .75 range.
Reference Articles

Svebak, S. (1974). A theory of sense of humor. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 15, 99-107.

Svebak, S. (1974). Revised questionnaire on the sense of humor. Scand. Journal of Psychology, 15, 328-331.

Svebak, S. (1996). The development of the Sense of Humor Questionnaire: From SHQ to SHQ-6. Humor:      International Journal of Humor Research, 9, 341-361.

Online Materials
                                              SHQ with Scoring Information