Article published in:Metapragmatics of Humor: Current research trends
Edited by Leonor Ruiz-Gurillo
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 14] 2016
► pp. 257–272
Understanding of humorous intentions
A developmental approach
This paper demonstrates that children understand humor from an intentional perspective as young as 2 years. This is interesting from two vantage points. First, the research shows that children understand both humor and intentions separately before understanding humorous intentions, suggesting these two concepts are dissociable. However, the research presented suggests that understanding humorous intentions could be a gateway to understanding intentions in complex ways. Humor is the first type of non-literal communication that children understand from an intentional viewpoint, compared to pretending, lying, metaphor, and irony. Understanding humorous intentions may thus allow children to identify and practice understanding others’ mental states in increasingly complex ways.
Keywords: Humor, Joke, Intention, Social cognition, Development
Published online: 24 November 2016
American Psychiatric, Association
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