young children understand irony

From BPS RESEARCH DIGEST: Do young children understand irony?

Some children as young as six already understand the idea that people make sarcastic remarks, saying one thing but meaning another, according to psychologists Penny Pexman and Melanie Glenwright.

The children found ironic criticisms – such as “that was great play” – easier to understand than ironic compliments. A grasp of the speaker’s true belief emerged first, then an understanding of the speaker’s attitude and intention to tease tended to emerge together, usually in the older children.

My kids are already experimenting with dishing out sarcasm…

posted at 11:55 am on Monday, January 29, 2007 in Personal, Science and Technology | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Conrad says:

    Yeah, A.‘s already got the hang of sarcasm. Comes by it very naturally. S.‘s got a way to go, but she’s already got the teenage exasperated/demanding routine down pat.

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