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Children's Humor Stages

  • By: Karina Hess Zimmermann
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

According to studies on humor development, in order to appreciate and produce humor children go through many stages. In general, it is agreed that humor emerges at around age 2, when children begin to interact with others in humorous ways. During the preschool years, children will start to produce humor based on the incongruity of actions and objects, but not until the school years will linguistic ambiguity be favored in children's humorous manifestations. Finally, during adolescence, individuals will commence to enjoy more sophisticated humor and to use it for social purposes.

Humor in Infancy

It is difficult to determine when children begin to enjoy humor. However, researchers have determined that early smiles and laughter in interaction with others starting at about 3 months of age, and games ...

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