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Cognitive underpinnings of irony understanding in children

Zajaczkowska, Maria Katarzyna, Abbot-Smith, Kirsten, Williams, David M. (2018) Cognitive underpinnings of irony understanding in children. In: Social Communication Across the Lifespan, 27th-29th June 2018, Canterbury, Kent. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
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Abstract

We examined the relationship between irony interpretation and Theory of Mind

measures (Strange Stories, Happé, 1994) and the Theory of Mind Inventory (ToMI,

Hutchins et al., 2012), as well as working memory, set shifting and inhibitory

control, whilst controlling for non-verbal IQ. We also examined different types of

irony interpretation. All previous studies have used simple forms of irony, where

the hearer can see from the real world context that the literal meaning cannot be

true (see (1)). We included a complex irony condition, where the non-literal

interpretation cannot be inferred from the visual context (see (2)).

(1) Tom and Sally wanted to go for a picnic. It has just started to rain. Sally: It's a

perfect day for a picnic.

(2) Tom: I have been invited to a party by the most beautiful girl in my class.

Sally: Yeah, and I have been invited to the Queen's party.

We presented children (N=51; aged 6;01 - 9;01) with 5 videos, in both simple and

complex irony conditions. After each short dialogue as in (1) and (2), participants

answered an open-ended question, then a forced-choice (out of three) question

about the speakers meaning. Children selected above chance for simple irony (M

= 76% correct) but significantly below chance for complex (M = 25% correct) irony.

Regression analyses showed that when controlling for age, nonverbal IQ and

formal language, ToM measures related to simple irony interpretation. There was

no relationship found between the EF and ToM measures and complex irony

interpretation.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Poster)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Kirsten Abbot-Smith
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 13:52 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 10:09 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/70461 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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