To successfully pull a practical joke, children need to understand that their victims do not know what they know, be able to intentionally manipulate others’ beliefs, and maintain a straight face to safeguard the integrity of the joke. This study examined the relationship between children’s developing theory of mind (ToM), inhibitory control, and their ability to pull a practical joke. Results from 95 children between ages 2 and 6 showed that children’s ability to pull a practical joke was significantly related to their age, false belief understanding, inhibitory control, and verbal ability. In addition, inhibitory control mediated the relation between false belief understanding and practical joking. The findings demonstrated that practical joking is inherently effortful. Copyright © 2021 AERA21.
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2021|