Where do babies learn humour from?

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Ever wondered where you got your sense of humour from? A group of scientists seemed to have found the answer!

sense of humour in babies

Sense of humour in babies: Read on to find out where babies learn humour from!

Have you ever wondered where you got your sense of humour from?Why is it that some people may find something absolutely hilarious while others find that very same thing disgusting?

A group of scientists at Cardiff University’s School of Psychology attempted to solve this mystery by researching on how babies learn humour.

So how exactly did the researchers conduct their experiment to find out where babies learn humour from?

How babies learn humour

In the experiment, the researchers told jokes to the babies and then measured their reactions. They found that babies are able to develop a sense of humour through a process of mimicry. Mimicry basically refers to the process of copying or imitating someone else, and so the researchers found that the babies learn humour by copying their parents.

It is quite normal for parents to speak in a different voice when they are joking with their babies but amazingly, they are unaware that this seemingly insignificant action is actually how babies learn to distinguish between what is funny and what is not!

Furthermore, researchers found that babies learn different types of humour at different ages. Researchers found that babies developed a sense of humour around 18-months old and by the time they turn two, they should be able to distinguish between things that are funny and things that are not. The researchers also discovered that babies are able to appreciate physical jokes by the age of one. By the age of six or seven, children are able to appreciate jokes involving word-puns.

sense of humour in babies

Sense of humour in babies: Different tones convey when you are joking and when you are serious to your baby

Why humour is important

Knowing just where babies learn humour from definitely provides many benefits for today’s parents. Having a good sense of humour results in many benefits and here are 5 of them:

  1. Having a good sense of humour will make the individual more endearing to others.
  2. A good sense of humour can boost your confidence and thus, contribute to a healthier self-esteem.
  3. A good sense of humour can help to relieve stress and cultivate a more positive attitude.
  4. Developing a great sense of humour also contributes to being more emotionally healthy.
  5. Experts also suggest that humour can help to strengthen your body’s immunity.

How this helps parents

By understanding just where babies learn humour from, parents are able to help develop their child’s sense of humour. Taking note of the different stages of humour which children learn at, different ages can have a profound effect on developing your child’s sense of humour. Furthermore, parents now understand why they tend to speak differently when joking with their babies and thus, will feel less silly whenever they do it as they now understand the significance of it.

Do you joke with your baby? Tell us, we’d love to hear. Check out this hilariously adorable video of a baby laughing:


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Written by

Sean Foo