Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do older adults have problems in decoding different types of sarcasm? Yep but not for the reasons thought.

There has been some commentary in the UK media about research conducted by the University of Aberdeen that supposedly demonstrated that ageing appears to impact the ability to know if a statement of situation is 'sarcastic'.

The sample size was very small and I am sure with a little investigation you could dismiss the research methodology, but I think the researchers missed a fundamental point. What is sarcastic or humorous to one age cohort might not be for another.

There is not some universal measure of what is sarcasm but rather it is differs by era. I have no doubt if a young research group were shown situations that were perceived as sarcastic by their grandparents they would probably be equally lost.

So the conclusion that: 'Older adults have problems in decoding different types of sarcasm' should read that adults have difficulty decoding sarcasm from different generations. Well that is my take on the situation. Dick Stroud

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