Scientists know when kids start joking

(ORDO NEWS) — It turned out that already at the age of one month, some babies are able to understand certain types of humor.

It is known that great apes and, for example, corvids, not only understand humor, but also know how to joke. Scientists from the universities of Bristol, Sheffield (UK) and Northern Vermont (USA) decided to find out when children begin to understand and appreciate humor. The research is published in the journal Behavior Research Methods .

The work was attended by parents of 671 children aged from zero to 47 months living in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada. The research team compiled a special survey of early development of humor of 20 questions, which were answered by parents.

It turned out that the earliest age at which children could understand humor was one month. But 50 percent of babies were able to achieve such indicators only by two months, and the remaining half – at all by 11 months.

The grown-up children also took part in the study. As a result, scientists were able to identify 21 types of humor in them. Their use depended on age. For example, toddlers under one year old appreciated physical, visual and auditory forms of humor. This included hide and seek games , expose, tickling, funny facial expressions, funny sounds, and other tomfoolery.

One-year-old children were already able to appreciate several types of humor, which also involved receiving reactions from other people: that is, teasing, removing clothes, intimidation, taboo topics (for example, related to the toilet), imitative behavior.

The humor of two-year-olds was even more complex and involved speech development: for example, playing with concepts and meaningless words. In addition, the researchers noted that children at this age were capable of meanness, because they appreciated ridiculing others and aggressive humor (for example, nudges). But three-year-olds often preferred to play with social rules: for example, say obscene words in order to cause laughter. They also showed some ability to understand puns.


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