Humor in Infants

Developmental and Psychological Perspectives

  • Gina C. Mireault
  • Vasudevi Reddy

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs in Child Development book sub series (BRIEFSCD)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Gina C. Mireault, Vasudevi Reddy
    Pages 1-9
  3. Gina C. Mireault, Vasudevi Reddy
    Pages 11-22
  4. Gina C. Mireault, Vasudevi Reddy
    Pages 23-30
  5. Gina C. Mireault, Vasudevi Reddy
    Pages 31-44
  6. Gina C. Mireault, Vasudevi Reddy
    Pages 45-53
  7. Gina C. Mireault, Vasudevi Reddy
    Pages 55-59
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 61-62

About this book


This volume explores in depth how infants—perhaps as young as three months—develop the capacity to appreciate, participate in, and create humor. Engagingly written, it synthesizes theories of humor, its subtle complexities, and why it exists despite seeming to have little survival value. Chapters trace the developing skills  in the child’s interactions with parents and others, the roles of verbal and nonverbal behaviors in humor, and related phenomena including absurdity, funniness, laughter, teasing, and play. These diverse perspectives offer rich insights into how the human mind learns from its environment, why humor is funny, and what humor can tell us about being human. 

This singular text: 
  • Reviews theories and findings on humor and its critical role in social behavior.
  • Analyzes the challenges of researching humor in infants and young children.
  • Differentiates among concepts and contexts of humor and playfulness.
  • Situates humor as a social-emotional as well as cognitive experience.
  • Details current research on humor in atypically developing children.
  • Examines the role of culture in humor.
Humor in Infants is an essential resource for researchers, clinicians, and graduate students in developmental psychology, infant mental health, social psychology, cognitive science, and pediatrics.


Absurdity in infants Clowning in infants Humor in infants with atypical development Humor in typically developing infants Incongruity in infants Infant humor Infant laughter Infant mental health Playfulness in infants Smiling in infants Social referencing in infants Social-cognition of infants Social-emotional development of infants Teasing in infants

Authors and affiliations

  • Gina C. Mireault
    • 1
  • Vasudevi Reddy
    • 2
  1. 1.Behavioral Sciences DepartmentJohnson State CollegeJohnsonUSA
  2. 2.Dept of Psychology King Henry BldgUniversity of PortsmouthPortsmouthUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information