Friday, July 13, 2007

Joke Comprehension May Decrease With Age

ST. LOUIS (Map, News) - It's no laughing matter: a new study suggests older adults have a harder time getting jokes as they age. The research indicates that because older adults may have greater difficulty with cognitive flexibility, abstract reasoning and short-term memory, they also have greater difficulty with tests of humor comprehension.

Researchers at Washington University tested about 40 healthy adults over age 65 and 40 undergraduate students with exercises in which they had to complete jokes and stories. Participants also had to choose the correct punch line for verbal jokes and select the funny ending to series of cartoon panels.

Findings were published earlier this month in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

The research conducted by graduate student Wingyun Mak and psychology professor Brian Carpenter showed that the younger adults did 6 percent better on the verbal jokes and 14 percent better on the comic portion than did older participants, Mak said.

Researchers used a verbal joke test developed in 1983 and used in other humor studies. Mak added a new element, though, by showing participants cartoons from the Ferd'nand comic strip, and asking them to choose between four panels to locate the funny ending. Three of the choices for each cartoon were the wrong ones, created by an artist for the study.

"This wasn't a study about what people find funny. It was a study about whether they get what's supposed to be funny," Carpenter said.

"There are basic cognitive mechanisms to understanding what's going on in a joke. Older adults, because they may have deficits in some of those cognitive areas, may have a harder time understanding what a joke is about."


ErnestoDR said...


Ano nga ba yung nakakatawa?

lucille said...

y-Yes that's true,I have experienced that.Everybody was already laughing,but I am still groping what the joke is.It is embarassing!

Ed Benjamin said...

I didn't get it, either. Where's the punch line, again? Perhaps if you WRITE it a little slower, I'll get it then? Ha! Ha! Was that funny or what?

neliaamparo said...

Ha! Ha!Ha! I Don't believe that. i was just starting to read the comments and i started laughing already.there's an exception to every rule.and besides, they said,it "may",only.

Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

I go with Nelia, "for every rule there is an exception." I am one who is excepted. I am 60 but don't accept being an old adult. Batch '63 let us keep on thinking that we are still young and healthy. Have to see you in 2010 with a big smile for every jokes. Let us start now. ha! ha! he! he! hi! hi!

Mike said...

Aruy ko po! Nakakatawa nga ba? Kasi
one Sunday morning during the mass
our Parish Priest before he began
his homily rendered a joke. Everybody was laughing including me
and my partner. While they're still
laughing I asked my partner if she
understand what the Priest said, she said no, why are you laughing sabi ko, ang sagot, kasi tumatawa silang lahat (he! he! he!).
I think it depends upon the person
who gave a joke kung ikaw ay matatawa o hindi. One time during
the Cursillo class nagbigay ng joke yong isa naming kasamahang
rollista, akalain mo bang nabody
was laughing, sabi ni Brother tumawa naman kayo, kaya lang medyo natawa ang iba.(ha! ha! ha!). Ay
buhay nga naman kung hindi ka magsasaya eh madali kang tatanda
kasi ang lagi raw pagtawa eh nakakabata,totoo ba iyon Corazon?

orionjri said...

TOUCHE!!! Take it easy guys, the study involved adults OVER age 65. We have a few more years before we get to that point. It is therefore VITALLY IMPORTANT that we all go to the 2010 reunion. After that, if this study proves correct, we may start to have big trouble remembering one another. That will be the saddest joke of all. Waahh!