Young Children's Explanation of Pictorial Humor

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Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the explanations of 80 kindergarten children on pictorial humor. The children were asked to observe and describe a specific visual stimulus, and say whether they considered it as funny providing their rationale. The study was developed on the basis of humor being an incongruity thus the data were examined against McGhee's stages of humor development and Brown's categories of Visual Humor. Findings suggest that kindergartners are capable of recognizing the main and/or minor incongruities in a funny picture and providing reasoning for it. Moreover, there are no gender differences in reference to these variables. These findings come to broaden the specific developmental approaches provided by McGhee and Brown, and suggest a new category to frame children's responses to pictorial humor, the Multiple Conceptual Visual Incongruities category. It is also suggested that the use of visual stimuli with multiple incongruities provides an excellent forum for investigating children's conceptual abilities.

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