Developmental psychology: toddlers look at humor from their parents
According to a new study presented at the British Psychological Society (BPS) conference in Glasgow, Scotland, babies are peering away from their parents' sense of humor. The only funny thing is what mom and dad laugh about. At the age of six months, children already monitor their parents' reactions very closely and learn how to react themselves. Only in the later course do small children have enough life experience to be able to form their own opinion.
Children can form their own opinions at the age of twelve Gina Mireault from Johnson State College in Vermont, USA and John Sparrow from the University of New Hampshire wanted to investigate whether babies as young as 6 months are coping with emotional reactions from their parents, as is the case with eight month old children is known as "social referencing". The researchers found that babies watched their mothers and fathers' reactions very closely when they laughed at something funny. Now they suspect that the children develop their own sense of humor in this way.
For their investigation, the scientists observed 30 children initially at the age of six months and later at one year. In order to test the children's reaction to an absurd, strange situation, the scientists first leafed through a book and held a red foam ball in their hands. Then one researcher gently slapped the book on another's head, making strange noises. Another scientist put the foam ball on his nose and also made strange noises. The baby's parents should either laugh out loud at the event or look at it emotionlessly when trying.
Babies watch parents' reactions - especially when they laugh
As it turned out, the children watched their parents' reactions very carefully when they laughed. "Humor may seem a less important topic, but it is critical to understanding child development," said Mireault, as the BPS reported. "Our results suggest that six-month-old babies start to see their parents as a source of emotional information, and that should be an important step on the way to getting emotional advice from parents when they are needed, as is the case with eight-month-old children, who are twelve months old and have enough life experience to make up their own minds to educate - at least about whether something is funny. " (ag)
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