Young children's appreciation and production of verbal and visual humor
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This study aimed to investigate young children's ability to appreciate and produce humor. Specifically the research questions were: 1. What aspects of a humorous visual stimulus do children of the ages 4-7 years appreciate and why? 2. What are the differences, if any, in producing a humorous story and a drawing? Are these related to creativity variables? 3. How are children's appreciation and production of visual humor related to the Theory of the Absurd and the Empowerment theory (Loizou 2005, Infant humor: The theory of the absurd and the empowerment theory. International Journal of Early Years Education 13(1). 43-53)? The participants of this study were 102 children of the ages 3-7. During semi-structured interviews children were asked to observe and comment on the funniness of a picture, produce a funny story and then to make a funny drawing. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. The findings suggest that a. as a research tool, the use of a picture that represents a child acting "dangerously" can affect children's reaction to humor b. in the production of a humorous drawing children use mainly the Incongruity theory whereas in their story production they use the Empowerment theory and c. the cognitive schemata used in explaining the humorous part in their story and drawing are different. © 2016 by De Gruyter Mouton.