Study shows “class clowns” may also be the most intelligent

Most people remember their class clown — or maybe you were one yourself. If the latter was the case, good for you: a new study shows you were likely a pretty smart kid. 

That’s right: according to researchers in Turkey, those classroom cut-ups weren’t just thorns in their teachers’ sides. They were showing signs of “extraordinary” intelligence compared to their more serious classmates.

Scientists at Turkey’s Anadolu University had 200 children write captions for 10 different cartoons, then had seven adult “humor experts” analyze the kids’ handiwork. 

A “clear pattern” soon emerged: the kids’ general intelligence highly correlated to how funny their captions were. Moreover, the study’s authors found the funniest kids, as judged by adults, had higher general knowledge and higher levels of verbal reasoning than did their peers.

Study author Professor Ugur Sak noted, “We were particularly interested in the quality of humor made by children but evaluated by adults. Parents and teachers should be aware that if their children or students frequently make good quality humor, it is highly likely that they have extraordinary intelligence.”

The findings were published in Humor – International Journal of Humor Research.

Incidentally, the researchers noted there’s no similar superiority when it comes to the intelligence of funny adults — as you probably already know from having to deal with your resident office “funny guy.”