Baby Laughter survey scientific update

The first results of our global survey were presented at an infancy conference last July. I thought I’d posted them here but it seems I forgot (typical absentminded academic).

Poster presented at International Conference for Infant Studies, Berlin, July 2014

The full academic write up will be even longer time coming, but for now here’s a quick summary. A total of 1300 parents completed the survey from 69 countries. A further 700 started the survey but never finished it (presumably interrupted by their babies.)

Conclusions
  • Babies first smile around 1.5 months and first laugh around 3.5 months. But with some individual variation.
  • Laughter starts social, babies laugh at/with people not things
  • Most things get funnier with age
  • Babies think mummy and daddy are equally funny
  • Parents think boys laugh more than girls
  • Peekaboo is universally popular but tickling most reliable way get a baby to laugh
  • Babies are moral and don’t laugh at other people falling over, so Freud was wrong that child laugh is based on superiority or schadenfreude!

Thanks to everyone that took part.

Baby Laughter survey results [pdf]