Do individuals with autism lack a sense of humor? A study of humor comprehension, appreciation, and styles among high school students with autism

Ching Lin Wu, Lei Pin Tseng, Chih Pei An, Hsueh-Chih Chen, Yu Chen Chan, Chen I. Shih, Shu Ling Zhuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humor helps to build interpersonal bonds and allows individuals to feel closer. Previous research has generally claimed that individuals with autism have difficulty with interpersonal communication and social contacts, but there has been no such consensus regarding the sense of humor among individuals with autism. To address this issue, the present study aimed to compare the comprehension of, appreciation for, and preferred styles of humor between students with and without autism. The samples consisted of 177 high school students with autism and 177 control high school students. Every participant was within the normal range of intelligence. The gender ratio and age ratio of the two groups were maintained through pairwise sampling. The research tools were a questionnaire regarding the comprehension of and appreciation for nonsense and incongruity-resolution jokes, and the Humor Styles Questionnaire. The results show that the students with autism did not comprehend the nonsense jokes and incongruity-resolution jokes as well as the control students did, but they felt greater enjoyment when reading nonsense jokes. The students with autism preferred the nonsense jokes which is featured of less logical reasoning and using homophones for double-meaning. The tendencies toward affiliative humor, self-enhancing humor, and self-defeating humor among the students with autism were not as strong as those among the control students. Only the tendency toward aggressive humor was equal between two groups, showing that the students with autism still have sense of humor but tend to use hostile humor style. It is suggested to investigate the tendency of hostile humor in people with autism, and to provide them with affiliative humor to break the interpersonal stalemate experienced by individuals with autism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1386-1393
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

Fingerprint

Wit and Humor
Autistic Disorder
Students
Intelligence
Research
Reading
Consensus
Reference Values
Communication

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Humor appreciation
  • Humor comprehension
  • Humor style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Do individuals with autism lack a sense of humor? A study of humor comprehension, appreciation, and styles among high school students with autism. / Wu, Ching Lin; Tseng, Lei Pin; An, Chih Pei; Chen, Hsueh-Chih; Chan, Yu Chen; Shih, Chen I.; Zhuo, Shu Ling.

In: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Vol. 8, No. 10, 01.01.2014, p. 1386-1393.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wu, Ching Lin ; Tseng, Lei Pin ; An, Chih Pei ; Chen, Hsueh-Chih ; Chan, Yu Chen ; Shih, Chen I. ; Zhuo, Shu Ling. / Do individuals with autism lack a sense of humor? A study of humor comprehension, appreciation, and styles among high school students with autism. In: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2014 ; Vol. 8, No. 10. pp. 1386-1393.
@article{42c94f32c61542cd8f3f4943d6d2d170,
title = "Do individuals with autism lack a sense of humor? A study of humor comprehension, appreciation, and styles among high school students with autism",
abstract = "Humor helps to build interpersonal bonds and allows individuals to feel closer. Previous research has generally claimed that individuals with autism have difficulty with interpersonal communication and social contacts, but there has been no such consensus regarding the sense of humor among individuals with autism. To address this issue, the present study aimed to compare the comprehension of, appreciation for, and preferred styles of humor between students with and without autism. The samples consisted of 177 high school students with autism and 177 control high school students. Every participant was within the normal range of intelligence. The gender ratio and age ratio of the two groups were maintained through pairwise sampling. The research tools were a questionnaire regarding the comprehension of and appreciation for nonsense and incongruity-resolution jokes, and the Humor Styles Questionnaire. The results show that the students with autism did not comprehend the nonsense jokes and incongruity-resolution jokes as well as the control students did, but they felt greater enjoyment when reading nonsense jokes. The students with autism preferred the nonsense jokes which is featured of less logical reasoning and using homophones for double-meaning. The tendencies toward affiliative humor, self-enhancing humor, and self-defeating humor among the students with autism were not as strong as those among the control students. Only the tendency toward aggressive humor was equal between two groups, showing that the students with autism still have sense of humor but tend to use hostile humor style. It is suggested to investigate the tendency of hostile humor in people with autism, and to provide them with affiliative humor to break the interpersonal stalemate experienced by individuals with autism.",
keywords = "Autism, Humor appreciation, Humor comprehension, Humor style",
author = "Wu, {Ching Lin} and Tseng, {Lei Pin} and An, {Chih Pei} and Hsueh-Chih Chen and Chan, {Yu Chen} and Shih, {Chen I.} and Zhuo, {Shu Ling}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.006",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "1386--1393",
journal = "Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders",
issn = "1750-9467",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do individuals with autism lack a sense of humor? A study of humor comprehension, appreciation, and styles among high school students with autism

AU - Wu, Ching Lin

AU - Tseng, Lei Pin

AU - An, Chih Pei

AU - Chen, Hsueh-Chih

AU - Chan, Yu Chen

AU - Shih, Chen I.

AU - Zhuo, Shu Ling

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Humor helps to build interpersonal bonds and allows individuals to feel closer. Previous research has generally claimed that individuals with autism have difficulty with interpersonal communication and social contacts, but there has been no such consensus regarding the sense of humor among individuals with autism. To address this issue, the present study aimed to compare the comprehension of, appreciation for, and preferred styles of humor between students with and without autism. The samples consisted of 177 high school students with autism and 177 control high school students. Every participant was within the normal range of intelligence. The gender ratio and age ratio of the two groups were maintained through pairwise sampling. The research tools were a questionnaire regarding the comprehension of and appreciation for nonsense and incongruity-resolution jokes, and the Humor Styles Questionnaire. The results show that the students with autism did not comprehend the nonsense jokes and incongruity-resolution jokes as well as the control students did, but they felt greater enjoyment when reading nonsense jokes. The students with autism preferred the nonsense jokes which is featured of less logical reasoning and using homophones for double-meaning. The tendencies toward affiliative humor, self-enhancing humor, and self-defeating humor among the students with autism were not as strong as those among the control students. Only the tendency toward aggressive humor was equal between two groups, showing that the students with autism still have sense of humor but tend to use hostile humor style. It is suggested to investigate the tendency of hostile humor in people with autism, and to provide them with affiliative humor to break the interpersonal stalemate experienced by individuals with autism.

AB - Humor helps to build interpersonal bonds and allows individuals to feel closer. Previous research has generally claimed that individuals with autism have difficulty with interpersonal communication and social contacts, but there has been no such consensus regarding the sense of humor among individuals with autism. To address this issue, the present study aimed to compare the comprehension of, appreciation for, and preferred styles of humor between students with and without autism. The samples consisted of 177 high school students with autism and 177 control high school students. Every participant was within the normal range of intelligence. The gender ratio and age ratio of the two groups were maintained through pairwise sampling. The research tools were a questionnaire regarding the comprehension of and appreciation for nonsense and incongruity-resolution jokes, and the Humor Styles Questionnaire. The results show that the students with autism did not comprehend the nonsense jokes and incongruity-resolution jokes as well as the control students did, but they felt greater enjoyment when reading nonsense jokes. The students with autism preferred the nonsense jokes which is featured of less logical reasoning and using homophones for double-meaning. The tendencies toward affiliative humor, self-enhancing humor, and self-defeating humor among the students with autism were not as strong as those among the control students. Only the tendency toward aggressive humor was equal between two groups, showing that the students with autism still have sense of humor but tend to use hostile humor style. It is suggested to investigate the tendency of hostile humor in people with autism, and to provide them with affiliative humor to break the interpersonal stalemate experienced by individuals with autism.

KW - Autism

KW - Humor appreciation

KW - Humor comprehension

KW - Humor style

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84905639868&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84905639868&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.006

DO - 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.006

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84905639868

VL - 8

SP - 1386

EP - 1393

JO - Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

JF - Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

SN - 1750-9467

IS - 10

ER -