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Studying Irony Detection Beyond Ironic Criticism: Let's Include Ironic Praise


Bruntsch, Richard; Ruch, Willibald (2017). Studying Irony Detection Beyond Ironic Criticism: Let's Include Ironic Praise. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:606.

Abstract

Studies of irony detection have commonly used ironic criticisms (i.e., mock positive evaluation of negative circumstances) as stimulus materials. Another basic type of verbal irony, ironic praise (i.e., mock negative evaluation of positive circumstances) is largely absent from studies on individuals' aptitude to detect verbal irony. However, it can be argued that ironic praise needs to be considered in order to investigate the detection of irony in the variety of its facets. To explore whether the detection ironic praise has a benefit beyond ironic criticism, three studies were conducted. In Study 1, an instrument (Test of Verbal Irony Detection Aptitude; TOVIDA) was constructed and its factorial structure was tested using N = 311 subjects. The TOVIDA contains 26 scenario-based items and contains two scales for the detection of ironic criticism vs. ironic praise. To validate the measurement method, the two scales of the TOVIDA were experimentally evaluated with N = 154 subjects in Study 2. In Study 3, N = 183 subjects were tested to explore personality and ability correlates of the two TOVIDA scales. Results indicate that the co-variance between the ironic TOVIDA items was organized by two inter-correlated but distinct factors: one representing ironic praise detection aptitude and one representing ironic criticism detection aptitude. Experimental validation showed that the TOVIDA items truly contain irony and that item scores reflect irony detection. Trait bad mood and benevolent humor (as a facet of the sense of humor) were found as joint correlates for both ironic criticism and ironic praise detection scores. In contrast, intelligence, trait cheerfulness, and corrective humor were found as unique correlates of ironic praise detection scores, even when statistically controlling for the aptitude to detect ironic criticism. Our results indicate that the aptitude to detect ironic praise can be seen as distinct from the aptitude to detect ironic criticism. Generating unique variance in irony detection, ironic praise can be postulated as worthwhile to include in future studies-especially when studying the role of mental ability, personality, and humor in irony detection.

Abstract

Studies of irony detection have commonly used ironic criticisms (i.e., mock positive evaluation of negative circumstances) as stimulus materials. Another basic type of verbal irony, ironic praise (i.e., mock negative evaluation of positive circumstances) is largely absent from studies on individuals' aptitude to detect verbal irony. However, it can be argued that ironic praise needs to be considered in order to investigate the detection of irony in the variety of its facets. To explore whether the detection ironic praise has a benefit beyond ironic criticism, three studies were conducted. In Study 1, an instrument (Test of Verbal Irony Detection Aptitude; TOVIDA) was constructed and its factorial structure was tested using N = 311 subjects. The TOVIDA contains 26 scenario-based items and contains two scales for the detection of ironic criticism vs. ironic praise. To validate the measurement method, the two scales of the TOVIDA were experimentally evaluated with N = 154 subjects in Study 2. In Study 3, N = 183 subjects were tested to explore personality and ability correlates of the two TOVIDA scales. Results indicate that the co-variance between the ironic TOVIDA items was organized by two inter-correlated but distinct factors: one representing ironic praise detection aptitude and one representing ironic criticism detection aptitude. Experimental validation showed that the TOVIDA items truly contain irony and that item scores reflect irony detection. Trait bad mood and benevolent humor (as a facet of the sense of humor) were found as joint correlates for both ironic criticism and ironic praise detection scores. In contrast, intelligence, trait cheerfulness, and corrective humor were found as unique correlates of ironic praise detection scores, even when statistically controlling for the aptitude to detect ironic criticism. Our results indicate that the aptitude to detect ironic praise can be seen as distinct from the aptitude to detect ironic criticism. Generating unique variance in irony detection, ironic praise can be postulated as worthwhile to include in future studies-especially when studying the role of mental ability, personality, and humor in irony detection.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPsych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:30 Jan 2018 13:54
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 11:00
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00606
PubMed ID:28484409

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