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2007 | 38 | 4 | 189-197

Article title

Understanding and appreciating humour in late childhood and adolescence


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The aim of the presented research was to compare humour reception (comprehension and appreciation) diverse in terms of the means of communication (verbal, visual, and verbal-visual) of children in late childhood (10 year olds) and adolescence (15 year olds). The premises are that: 1) the hierarchy of the types of humour identified in terms of the degree of comprehension will be similar in both age groups: both 10 and 15 year olds will comprehend visual humour best and verbal-visual and verbal humour worse; 2) the hierarchy of the given types of humour in terms of appraisal of degree of funniness will also be identical in both age groups and in analogy to the previous one. Two original methods were implemented in the individual session: A Set of Jokes and a discussion. A total 170 persons took part in the study: 73 persons aged 10 and 97 aged 15. Both hypotheses were only partially substantiated. Visual humour was best understood in the group of 10 year olds as expected. It was significantly better comprehended than verbal and verbal-visual humour. However, despite expectations, this hierarchy did not turn out to be universal for both age groups. In the 15 year olds' group verbal humour was understood to the greatest extent. A statistically significant difference was noted in adolescents between the degree of comprehension of this last type of humour and the rest (visual and verbal-visual). Moreover, although the existence of the same hierarchy of the given types of humour in terms of the degree of funniness rating was revealed, it was not analogical neither to the hypothetically surmised nor the empirically identified degree of comprehension hierarchy. The verbal-visual type of humour received the highest degree of funniness rating among both the 10 and 15 year olds. A statistically significant difference was observed between the age groups in degree of funniness rating of verbal-visual humour and the two remaining (verbal and visual humour).








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  • A. Radomska, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydzial Psychologii, ul. Stawki 5/7, 00-183 Warszawa, Poland


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