Sense of Humor Scale (SHS/McGhee)
Paul E. McGhee
Self- and Peer-report scale

The SHS consists of 40 items, divided across eight areas of humor-related behaviors: (1) Enjoyment of Humor, (2) Seriousness/Negative Mood, (3) Playfulness/Positive Mood, (4) Laughter, (5) Verbal Humor, (6) Finding Humor in Everyday Life, (7) Laughing at Yourself, and (8) Humor under Stress. Respondents rate each item on a four point Likert scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 4 (Strongly Agree). The ratings for each area are added together to form subscores. The subscores for Laughing at Yourself and for Humor under Stress are weighted by factors of 1.5 and 2.0, respectively. A final Humor Quotient, which can range from 22 to 165, is computed by summing the subscores for all eight areas.

Number of Items
40 items (5 on each of 8 subscales)
The SHS measures eight areas of humor-related behaviors (see above) and provides an overall Humor Quotient.
The SHS is employed primarily with McGhee's eight-step humor development training program. Individuals complete the SHS at the beginning and at the end of the program to assess changes in their everyday uses of humor.
10-15 minutes
Available online from the author at
McGhee, P. E. (1996). Humor, healing, and the amuse system: Humor as survival training. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.
Online Materials
                                        Instructions                              Sample Items