Humour study by Madelijn Strick chosen as public research project during Weekend of Science

Each year during the national Weekend of Science , there is one study in which everyone in the Netherlands is given the opportunity to contribute to science. This year’s public research project is the humour study ’ Don’t make me laugh! ’ led by Madelijn Strick , a psychologist at Utrecht University. She has teamed up with the television programme Het Klokhuis to examine the role of humour in daily communication.

For this study, Strick has participants watch a number of segments from the children’s educational TV show Het Klokhuis. These scenes can be funny, serious, or both. After watching the segments, participants answer a series of questions. Strick explains: ’We try to find out all kinds of things with these questions, such as: how funny do viewers of different ages think the Klokhuis sketches are? Which jokes do they enjoy most, and does humour help them to better understand the programme’s content?’

Het Klokhuis is a programme that successfully uses humour to convey a message.


The collaboration with Het Klokhuis is a dream come true for the UU psychologist: as a little girl, she hoped to one day host the popular TV programme. Though she won’t be hosting, when the Weekend of Science contacted her to lead the public research project, Strick saw her chance to work with Het Klokhuis. ’Het Klokhuis is a programme that successfully uses humour to convey a message: precisely what I want to research.’

Those interested can take part in the humour study from 30 September.

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