Individual differences in irony production and use
MetadataShow full item record
What factors affect the way an individual processes and uses irony? The present research investigates whether cognitive flexibility, conversational indirectness, and personality traits may account for the differences in an individual?s use of irony. The results of this study suggest that cognitive flexibility and personality traits predict irony use. An individual who is cognitively flexible is more likely to use irony and better at interpreting it because he/she can process the multiple interpretations presented by ironic language. Agreeable and conscientious people are less likely to use irony because of their innate personality traits and the harsh, critical nature of ironic language. These results suggest that agreeableness and conscientiousness are personality traits that determine which type of sarcasm an individual may use in daily interactions, while cognitive flexibility seems important to situational forms of irony. These individual differences support a view of irony as cognitively complex and interpersonally critical.
irony; sarcasm; cognitive flexibility; conversational indirectness; personality
dissertation or thesis