Presentation Title

What’s black and white and read all over? Pun comprehension across development

Advisor Information

Michael Cortese

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 225

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

7-3-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

7-3-2014 2:15 PM

Abstract

In the proposed study, humor will be analyzed along the course of cognitive development within a Piagetian framework among a sample of younger children as well as among college-age students. This work is an extension and elaboration of the work pioneered by Paul McGhee (1971; 1974; 1976) in which a specific type of humor, namely, puns, is examined within the context of a corresponding cognitive process. Additionally, it is important that this cognitive process is measured as directly as possible rather than relying on just age as an indicator of development. School-aged children will be interviewed to have their reading fluency assessed using the DIBELs ORF test. Subsequently, children will be asked to read several passages containing puns and non-puns. They will be asked to identify puns in the passages and report whether the puns are funny. According to the cognitive congruency principle, children should find pun humor to be funny only if it provides a cognitive challenge during processing. Age of acquisition ratings for puns and reading fluency will be examined as predictors of pun comprehension in school-aged children. It is posited that children with higher reading fluency will be superior in identifying puns. Pun comprehension will in turn be tested with a novelty measure to predict mirthful response to pun humor in both children and college students. Mirthful response is predicted to be a function of novelty, such that pun words that have been learned more recently will trigger more mirthful responses.

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Mar 7th, 2:00 PM Mar 7th, 2:15 PM

What’s black and white and read all over? Pun comprehension across development

UNO Criss Library, Room 225

In the proposed study, humor will be analyzed along the course of cognitive development within a Piagetian framework among a sample of younger children as well as among college-age students. This work is an extension and elaboration of the work pioneered by Paul McGhee (1971; 1974; 1976) in which a specific type of humor, namely, puns, is examined within the context of a corresponding cognitive process. Additionally, it is important that this cognitive process is measured as directly as possible rather than relying on just age as an indicator of development. School-aged children will be interviewed to have their reading fluency assessed using the DIBELs ORF test. Subsequently, children will be asked to read several passages containing puns and non-puns. They will be asked to identify puns in the passages and report whether the puns are funny. According to the cognitive congruency principle, children should find pun humor to be funny only if it provides a cognitive challenge during processing. Age of acquisition ratings for puns and reading fluency will be examined as predictors of pun comprehension in school-aged children. It is posited that children with higher reading fluency will be superior in identifying puns. Pun comprehension will in turn be tested with a novelty measure to predict mirthful response to pun humor in both children and college students. Mirthful response is predicted to be a function of novelty, such that pun words that have been learned more recently will trigger more mirthful responses.