Humor : International Journal of Humor Research - Humor in Autism Spectrum Disorders (juillet 2013)

mercredi 24 juillet 2013

Le numéro de juillet 2013 de la revue Humor est consacré à l’autisme et la perception de l’humour par les personnes avec autisme.

1. Samson Andrea C. Humor(lessness) elucidated – Sense of humor in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders : Review and Introduction. Humor ;2013 ;26(3):393.

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2. Rawlings D. Humor preference and the Autism Quotient in an undergraduate sample. Humor ;2013 ;26(3):411.

Most previous studies relating autism and humor have compared responses to jokes or cartoons in autistic children and controls. The present study used the Humor Appreciation Measure (HAM, Rawlings 2008), which measures responses to hypothetical real life situations, as well as jokes ; and employed the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ, Baron-Cohen et al. 1995), a self-report instrument which assumes that autism exists on a continuum. In an undergraduate sample (N = 126), substantial correlations were reported between the total AQ score and the “unpleasant/aversive” ratings of potentially humorous, non-violent situations involving other people and the self. Correlational and regression analysis indicated that the strongest relationships with humor variables involved the Attention Switching sub-scale. The overall importance of Attention Switching was further examined by correlating individual sub-scale items with relevant humor variables. It is argued that the correlation between humor and Attention Switching is dependent on participants’ relative tendency to avoid situations associated with the novel or unpredictable.

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3. Weiss Elisabeth M, Gschaidbauer Bianca C, Samson Andrea C, Steinbäcker K, Fink A, Papousek I. From Ice Age to Madagascar : Appreciation of slapstick humor in children with Asperger’s syndrome. Humor ;2013 ;26(3):423.

The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with Asperger’s syndrome differ from typically developing children in the appreciation of and behavioral responses to simple slapstick type humor, in which cognitive requirements that are commonly impaired in autism spectrum disorders are reduced to a minimum. Short slapstick scenes and matched non-humorous control scenes were extracted from popular movies to produce an appropriate humor assessment material. Twenty-four boys with Asperger’s syndrome (5 to 14 years) and 24 age-matched typically developed controls were tested. The results indicated that children with Asperger’s syndrome enjoy humorous material as much as healthy children do, if the humor elements are simple and the incongruence can be perceived independently from theory of mind requirements, inferential demands, or language abilities. However, similar funniness ratings and behavioral expressions of mirth to the humorous scenes, but relatively higher values in response to the non-humorous scenes, suggested that the autistic children did not discriminate non-humorous from humorous stimuli as sensitively as the typically developing children did. Moreover, in autistic children, the outwards displays of emotion did not match their reports of subjective amusement. This dissociation may relate to the social interaction and communication difficulties in autism spectrum disorders.

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4. Samson Andrea C, Huber O, Ruch W. Seven decades after Hans Asperger’s observations : A comprehensive study of humor in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Humor ;2013 ;26(3):441.

The aim of the present study was to better understand humor in individuals with Asperger’s syndrome. Therefore, various humor and laughter related phenomena were investigated by means of various standardized humor instruments. Forty individuals with AS and 113 controls filled out several self-report questionnaires and tests. The results revealed that individuals with AS scored significantly lower on trait cheerfulness and higher on trait seriousness (both describing the susceptibility to humor). Furthermore, they scored low on scales related to social communication (affiliative humor, humor entertainment) and portrayed a more socially cold humor style. In addition, individuals with AS scored low on mean-spirited humor, and used less adaptive (self-enhancing) and more maladaptive humor styles (self-defeating humor). Finally, they preferred incongruity-resolution humor, representing a more reality-oriented processing style. These findings add to previous studies on humor and expand the knowledge of components associated with successful humor appreciation.

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5. Eriksson K. Autism-spectrum traits predict humor styles in the general population. Humor ;2013 ;26(3):461.

Previous research shows that individuals with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism tend to have impaired processing of humor and laugh at things that are not commonly found funny. Here the relationship between humor styles and the broader autism phenotype was investigated in a sample of the general population. The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ) and the humor styles questionnaire (HSQ) were administered to six hundred US participants recruited through an Internet-based service. On the whole, high scores on AQ were negatively related to positive humor styles and unrelated to negative humor styles. However, AQ subscales representing different autism-spectrum traits exhibited different patterns. In particular, the factor “poor mind-reading” was associated with higher scores on negative humor styles and the factor “attention to detail” was associated with higher scores on all humor styles, suggesting a more nuanced picture of the relationship between autism-spectrum traits and humor.

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6. Samson Andrea C, Antonelli Y. Humor as character strength and its relation to life satisfaction and happiness in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Humor ;2013 ;26(3):477.

The goal of this study was to examine the importance of humor as character strength in individuals with Asperger’s syndrome/High Functioning Autism (AS/HFA) and how it relates to life satisfaction and orientation to happiness. Thirty-three individuals with AS/HFA and 33 gender-, age- and education-matched typically developing (TD) participants filled out scales assessing character strengths (VIA-IS), life satisfaction (SWLS) and orientation to happiness (OTH). Profile analyses of the character strengths and character strengths factors revealed significant differences between the two groups. Humor was found to be the 8th highest out of 24 character strengths in TD, but was only at the 16th position in individuals with AS/HFA when the strengths are rank-ordered. In TD participants, humor is related to life of pleasure, life of engagement, life of meaning and life satisfaction. In individuals with AS/HFA, humor is only related to life of pleasure. This shows that 1) individuals with AS/HFA seem not to consider humor as one of their important strengths, which is in line with humor difficulties reported earlier and 2) humor does not seem to contribute to life satisfaction to the same degree as in TD controls.

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