Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 253–257

The Comprehension of Humorous Materials by Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome


    • Kenton County Public Schools
  • Nancy A. Creaghead
    • Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersUniversity of Cincinnati
  • Sandra M. Grether
    • Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersUniversity of Cincinnati
  • Donna Murray
    • Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum DisordersCincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Carol Grasha
    • Division of Developmental DisabilitiesCincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

DOI: 10.1023/A:1024498232284

Cite this article as:
Emerich, D.M., Creaghead, N.A., Grether, S.M. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2003) 33: 253. doi:10.1023/A:1024498232284


This study investigated the ability of adolescents with Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism and an age-matched group of typical adolescents to comprehend humorous materials. The analysis of humor focused on picking funny endings for cartoons and jokes. As expected, the adolescents with autism had significantly poorer comprehension of cartoons and jokes. Both groups had more difficulty with the joke than the cartoon task, but when compared with the typical group, the adolescents with autism performed significantly poorer. Examination of the error patterns revealed that subjects with autism had difficulty handling surprise and coherence within humorous narratives.

Autism Asperger's syndrome humor cartoons jokes

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003