Amy S. Cashen

Date of Defense

Spring 4-1988


Speech Pathology and Audiology


The appreciation of verbal and nonverbal cartoon humor by adults who have experienced cerebrovascular induced brain lesions was studied. Four right hemisphere damaged (RHD) subjects (one male and three females) and three left hemisphere damaged (LHD) subjects (three males) were tested. A group of four neurologically intact adults (one male and three females) was also tested. Subjects were asked to rate 8 verbal and 8 nonverbal cartoons according to how humorous they found them by indicating a score of one to three happy faces on the "Ha Scale," while the experimenter simultaneously rated the subjects' reactions to the cartoons on a separate "Mirth Scale." A Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA showed statistically significant differences between the scores of the three groups on the Mirth Scale scores for the nonverbal cartoons. The humor appreciation scores of the RHD individuals were ranked consistently lower by the experimenters for the nonverbal cartoons using this scale. The small sample size and the trends evident in the findings suggest that it may be premature to accept the null hypothesis in answer to some of the other questions addressed in the study as well. It is of particular interest that all of the LHD subjects rated the verbal cartoons with lower scores than the nonverbal cartoons on the "Ha" scale. The observers also rated the LHD subjects with lower scores on the verbal cartoons than the nonverbal cartoons on the "Mirth" scale. The right hemisphere damaged and neurologically normal adults showed no preference for either verbal or nonverbal cartoons. However, results of the ANOVA in this area were not statistically significant.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only