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Humor, abstraction, and disbelief

Hoicka, Elena, Jutsum, Sarah and Gattis, Merideth Leigh 2008. Humor, abstraction, and disbelief. Cognitive Science 32 (6) , pp. 985-1002. 10.1080/03640210801981841

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Abstract

We investigated humor as a context for learning about abstraction and disbelief. More specifically, we investigated how parents support humor understanding during book sharing with their toddlers. In Study 1, a corpus analysis revealed that in books aimed at 1-to 2-year-olds, humor is found more often than other forms of doing the wrong thing including mistakes, pretense, lying, false beliefs, and metaphors. In Study 2, 20 parents read a book containing humorous and non-humorous pages to their 19-to 26-month-olds. Parents used a significantly higher percentage of high abstraction extra-textual utterances (ETUs) when reading the humorous pages. In Study 3, 41 parents read either a humorous or non-humorous book to their 18-to 24-month-olds. Parents reading the humorous book made significantly more ETUs coded for a specific form of high abstraction: those encouraging disbelief of prior utterances. Sharing humorous books thus increases toddlers' exposure to high abstraction and belief-based language.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0364-0213
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:54
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/5601

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