Brief Research Report
Verbal irony processing: How do contrast and humour correlate?
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2013
© 2013 International Union of Psychological Science
International Journal of Psychology
Volume 49, Issue 1, pages 46–50, February 2014
How to Cite
Calmus, A. and Caillies, S. (2014), Verbal irony processing: How do contrast and humour correlate?. International Journal of Psych, 49: 46–50. doi: 10.1002/ijop.12003
- Issue published online: 8 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 15 NOV 2012
- Verbal irony;
- Figurative language
Verbal irony relies on contrast, that is, incongruity between the situational context and the ironic assertion. But is the degree of contrast related to the perceived humorousness of ironic comments? We answered this question by conducting two experiments. In the first experiment, participants were asked to read a list of sentence pairs (ironic or control) and judge the extent to which the meaning of the first sentence contrasted with that of the second. In the second experiment, participants were invited to rate the humorousness of ironic comments compared with their literal counterparts. Results showed that ironic remarks were rated as more contrasting and more humorous than their literal counterparts, but that humour only emerged from a moderate contrast.