To share our work with other academics in developmental psychology, we have put in a proposal for a symposium on humour research in children. The symposium would be called Just Kidding? The Role of Humour in Children’s Socio-Emotional Development.
A symposium is a collection of research papers on a given topic. As well, as presenting our own work on friendship, bullying and humour styles at the symposium, we would like to join with other researchers working in the area. These researchers are Vasu Reddy (University of Portsmouth, UK), Gina Mireault (Johnson State College, USA), Elena Hoicka (University of Stirling, UK), and Merideth Gattis (Cardiff University, UK).
The long form of our symposium abstract is given below:
This symposium focuses on how humour comes into play in children’s social and emotional development. In particular, the contributors illustrate these concerns are pertinent in a literature which, until recently has focused mainly on psychological aspects of humour in adults only. In the first paper, Gina Mireault looks at how humour may be used to explore six month-old infants’ social referencing abilities. In the second paper, Vasu Reddy and colleagues examine how clowning behaviour changes from 8 months to 24 months. The third paper by Elena Hoicka focuses on how infants discern actors’ different intentions (i.e., to joke, or to be sincere), and not just their character traits, when making decisions about their own behaviour. In the fourth paper, Meredith Gattis reports on children’s imitation and extension of humorous actions at 20 and 24 months. In the fifth paper, Sian Jones and Claire Fox discuss the use of different humour styles among those who are popular, or have few friends, and the ways in which this may be linked to bullying. By bringing together different strands of research, the aim of the symposium is to shed light on the relatively neglected ways in which humour may be used to explore and explain children’s socio-emotional development.