Why do infants laugh or giggle when they have not yet grasped the concept of humour?

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Why do infants laugh or giggle when they have not yet grasped the concept of humour?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a way to show they are happy. They don’t understand deep concepts of humor, but they do understand things like pleasant surprise and being startled when they are happy and comfortable. It’s a way for them to show their connection with their parent.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I would say that if someone doesn’t understand those concepts and still laughs or smiles it’s because they are experiencing the actual emotion and we’re just out here chasing it when we go to comedy shows to try and laugh

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because not everything we know is taught. A baby is hungry even if it does not understand what it means to be hungry, same goes for emotions like fear, disgust, surprise, anger, contempt, joy, sadness. These are called the 7 basic emotions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Laughing, smiling, and other common human social behavioural traits are instinctive. We’re tribal animals that rely heavily on social cues to communicate and interact. We’ve been laughing, smiling, and more, for a lot longer than we’ve been using full spoken language, and before our brains were able to understand all our modern concepts of social interraction. Babies are just following this.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You don’t need to be smart or experienced to laugh. You just need to find the circumstances humorous from whatever perpective and context in which you perceive them.

Laughing and crying usually occur when our expectations are upended. If the context is unpleasant or imply a threat, emotional tension from the experience resolves through crying or anger. If the context is pleasant or comforting, the emotional tension resolves through laughter.

This happens a lot to babies, because they have very little experience upon which to base their expectations. Like all of us, babies are wired to form expectations about what should happen next (this is part of our executive function) so they make guesses. Where these guesses are shown to be erroneous, babies laugh or cry, depending on the context of the circumstance.

Peekaboo is a perfect example. The game works because once they get the rhythm of the game, baby will try to guess when parent will call peekaboo. Invariably this guess is wrong. So when loving parent surprises baby yet again with an unexpected peekaboo, their gentile smiling face elicits laughter in baby to resolve emotional tension formed because of the bad guess.

Now, you can imagine a similar same game, but instead named “angry peekaboo” where the actor is not smiling but instead surprises baby with a frown and sharp angry speech will elicit a drastically different response. To resolve the emotional tension caused by the bad guess, baby will cry, because crying is baby’s instinctive call for help (and at this stage in life, every call for help baby makes is desperate because every threat appears cataclysmic and existential).

Pro tip: don’t play Angry Peekaboo.