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Humor Development: Toward a Life Span Approach

Chapter

Abstract

The study of humor development progressively increased through the decade of the 1970s. Evidence of the resurgence of interest in this long-neglected area of development may be found not only in the increasing number of journal articles devoted to it, but also in the recent reissueing of Wolfenstein’s (1954) psychoanalytically oriented Children’s Humor in 1978 and the publication of Children’s Riddling (McDowell, 1979), Humor: Its Origin and Development (McGhee, 1979), and Children’s Humour. (McGhee & Chapman, 1980). Most of this research has focused on the elementary school years, with studies of preschoolers being second most frequent. Surprisingly, very few studies have dealt with humor among adolescents, and those have rarely been developmental in nature. While college students remain the most frequently studied age group in this as well as other areas of research, these studies have also rarely been conceptualized to examine developmental change. While a number of studies have used subjects at various points in the postcollege adult years, the author knows of only one that investigated humor development among the elderly (Schaier & Cicirelli, 1976). Thus, while a decade or so of research has sharply increased our understanding of the development of humor up to about junior high school age, we remain completely ignorant of developmental changes from early adolescence through the years of advanced aging. The present chapter is designed to draw attention to this void and to begin to stimulate a life span approach to research on humor development.

Keywords

Social Facilitation Imaginative Play Humor Production Disposition Theory Humor Appreciation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

Reference Note

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