Sense of Humor Questionnaire 6 (SHQ-6)
Sven Svebak
Self-report scale
The SHQ-6 consists of 6 statements and questions designed to measure sense of humor. Individuals select one of four responses along a four point scale to indicate an answer to a question or agreement with a statement. Responses to each item are scored from 1 to 4 and summed for an overall Sense of Humor score. The SHQ-6 is a revision of an earlier 21-item measure that assessed three separate dimensions: Metamessage Sensitivity, Liking of Humorous Situations, and Expressiveness. Three Metamessage and three Liking items from the earlier instrument make up the six-item SHQ-6; however, analysis indicates that the SHQ-6 best reflects a single factor. Items from the Expressiveness dimension are not included on the SHQ-6 because of previously identified low reliabilities with this dimension.
Number of Items
6 items
Provides an overall Sense of Humor score and subscores for the three cognitive and three social items.
Adults and adolescents over 15 years of age
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.
5 minutes

The SHQ-6 is available on the ISHS website and can be used free by students and academic staff in noncommercial research only. Inquiries should be directed to the author at sven.svebak@ntnu.


& Validity

The SHQ-6 has good internal consistency with alpha = .85. Scores on the SHQ-6 correlate positively with scores on other measures of sense of humor that reflect affiliative/self-enhancing styles of humor (rs about .50) rather than hostile/self-defeating style (rs about .15). SHQ-6 scores tend to be inversely related with scores on measures of depression and anxiety.
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.

Svebak, S., Kristoffersen, B., & Aasaroed, K. (in press). Sense of humor and survival among a county cohort       of patients with end-stage renal failure: A two-year prospective study. International Journal of Psychiatry in       Medicine.

Online Materials
                                              SHQ6 with Scoring Information