, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 253-257

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

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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.