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. (Submitted) (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)

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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: 30 May 2019 08:25 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/70461 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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