Journal article

Appreciation of Slapstick Humour and Expressivity in Response to Amusing Stimuli in Individuals with Williams Syndrome


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  • 2023
Published in:
  • Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. - Springer Science and Business Media LLC. - 2023
English Objectives Previous studies on the comprehension and appreciation of humour in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS)
have only included complex types of humour that required complex cognitive abilities. Additionally, although individuals
with WS have been described as having a bias towards positive emotions, no study has investigated their expressive
responses to humour.
Methods The present study examined basic humour processing skills, as well as expressive responses to simple humorous
and non-humorous stimuli in individuals with WS (N = 8) compared to mental-age matched typically developing (TD) children
(N = 9). Participants were shown short funny and non-funny excerpts of the movies “Ice Age” and “Madagascar” and
were asked to rate their level of amusement. Their expressive responses, namely smiles and laughs, were coded and analysed.
Results Individuals with WS seem to be able to discriminate between humorous and non-humorous conditions and appreciate
simple humorous content as much as TD individuals. As such, they are equally able to process simple types of humour
as their mental-age matched counterparts. Additionally, and in line with their positivity bias, individuals with WS expressed
more frequent and more intense laughter than the control group.
Conclusion Individuals with WS appreciate simple humour as much as TD individuals, and they seem to display a particularly
high expressivity in response to humorous stimuli.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département de Pédagogie spécialisée
  • English
Open access status
Persistent URL

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