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

  • David M. Emerich
  • Nancy A. Creaghead
  • Sandra M. Grether
  • Donna Murray
  • Carol Grasha


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 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Emerich
    • 1
  • Nancy A. Creaghead
    • 2
  • Sandra M. Grether
    • 2
  • Donna Murray
    • 3
  • Carol Grasha
    • 4
  1. 1.Kenton County Public SchoolsErlanger
  2. 2.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnati
  3. 3.Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum DisordersCincinnati Children's Hospital Medical CenterCincinnati
  4. 4.Division of Developmental DisabilitiesCincinnati Children's Hospital Medical CenterCincinnati

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