A recent study has found that playfulness — which includes having a “sense of humor,” a “playful” attitude, or a keen and abiding love of “fun” — is among the most coveted character traits for potential mates, both men and women. A survey of 250 undergraduate students found that playfulness was the usually the most important thing people looked for in a long-term partner, probably because nobody wants to be yoked to a humorless asshole who insists on fortifying weekly readings of Goethe for the rest of their natural lives…
.. Men ranked “sense of humor” as the most important quality a woman could have, a trait followed closely by “playfulness” and “kindness” (“physical attraction” was pretty far down on the list, ranking ninth out of a possible 13 traits). It’s fun to speculate about what atavistic reasons make “playfulness” such an attractive quality, but the answer in this case is probably pretty simple — most people like to laugh, and, given the fact that a lot of modern people have at least a little extra not-running-away-from-feral-dogs time to joke around with each other, they’d rather while away the hours of their lives with someone who’s not a complete bore.
From Jezebel. Normally I scoff at these studies with their small sample sizes (ie. 250 is not a big number in economics) and their incessant use of undergrad students as subjects, but I think the results of this study ring true, so I’m behind this one. I love playful, Bill loves playful.
But it would be good to do these studies on someone other than undergrads every now and then because who knows, people might be different at different stages of their life? For instance, sometimes parenting lends itself to being playful but other times it leaves you a cranky, earnest mess – Bill and I like playfulness but maybe most other parents would rank ‘patience’ above ‘playfulness’?
And if you read the link you will find that the researchers are attaching the usual evo-psych conclusions to it, too – it’s all about the male plumage and female fertility. People, over it.