Saturday, June 4, 2011

Babies and Humor

Charlie Bit My Finger

The success of Charlie Bit My Finger may eventually contribute to a more serious study of the psychological origins of humor. While what makes people laugh still seems to be a bit of an enigma, it's easy to see why even the most serious-minded academician would chuckle at this clip. 

It is said that laughter develops spontaneously in babies at about four months old. Take this clip of two twin boys laughing at each other. Given the early onset of laughter, is humor hereditary or environmental? If it is hereditary, from where does humor evolve? 

Twin Baby Boys Laughing At Each Other

Another set of twin baby boys enjoying a lively conversation about a missing sock was captured by their mom.

 Talking Twin Babies

Most developmental psychologists believe that humor might have evolved from play behavior. Studies show that children laugh, on average, about 400 times per day while adults only laugh 15 times per day (if they're lucky). Given that playtime often decreases as we mature into adulthood, there is no doubt a link between play and humor or at least, play and laughter. If anything, playing gives us more opportunities to laugh at ourselves and others.

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