A pinboard by
Burcu Soy

PhD student, The University of Sheffield


I am interested in the relationship between humour development and social cognition in young children. Humour emerges from 3 months (Mireault, Sparrow, Poutre, Perdue & Macke, 2012). The types of humour young children like changes over the course of early development from clowning early on (Reddy, 2001) through to irony in later years (Angeleri & Airenti, 2014). Social cognition is a broad area focusing on thoughts and social behaviour (Ric, 2015), such as false beliefs, imitation, intentions and joint attention. The purpose of my current study is to examine the longitudinal relationship between humour and social cognition in typical children across a six-month interval.

Fifty-seven English-speaking parents of 3-to-47-months-olds have completed the Early Humour Survey and the Early Social Cognition Survey online twice 6 months apart to measure humour development and understanding of others’ minds so far. We are aiming to reach 200 participants longitudinally. A linear regression will be performed to ascertain how social cognition at time 2 will be affected by age at time 2, gender, and social cognition at time 1 (block 1), and humour at time 1 (block 2).

In conclusion, this study will be able to suggest whether humour is a good predictor of socio-cognitive development in the first years of life or vice versa.