Infant's Perception of Humor

Infant's Perception of Humor

Infant Learning Project (The University of Texas at Dallas)

Who Can Participate

This study is for infants between 5 and 10 months of age.

What Happens

In this study, your baby will be watching several short video clips. During the clips, one female researcher will be trying to get the attention of another female researcher. In half of the clips, she will be attempting funny behavior to get the attention of the other researcher, such as placing a bowl on her head. In the other half of the videos, the researcher will attempt to get her attention with more neutral behavior instead, such as just holding the bowl. Half of the videos, both humorous and neutral, will feature the researcher engaging with herself instead of having a social interaction with the second researcher. We will be measuring how long your baby spends looking at the different types of videos on the screen. There will also be several short surveys to fill out as the parent before the study begins.

What We're Studying

Research shows that social interaction is a very important part of humor. Humans rarely engage in humorous behaviors when they're alone! We're interested in figuring out how babies learn to understand the role that social interaction plays in humor. Will babies spend more time paying attention to videos with humor in them? And at the same time, will they also prefer the videos with social interaction, versus the videos with no interactions? Answering these questions will help us to further understand what babies understand about humor at this age, and whether or not they realize that engaging with others is a significant part of experiencing humor. This information can be useful when trying to understand how exactly a sense of humor develops, and what the function of humor is in our everyday lives.


15 minutes


At the end of the study, parents will have the option to print out a customizable "Baby Scientist" reward certificate. The certificate will be available to print immediately after finishing the study.

This study is conducted by Melanie Spence (Contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?