The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right - Deepstash



Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right

The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right
How do humans separate sarcasm from sincerity? Research on the subject is leading to insights about how the mind works. Really


Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Sarcasm is like a truth-lie

Sarcasm is like a truth-lie

You say something you don't literally mean, and the hearer only understands if they get that you're insincere. The ability to recognize sarcasm is an essential skill to function in a modern society that thrives on irony.

Entire phrases have lost their literal meaning because they are so frequently used with a sneer. For example, "big deal", or "tell it to someone who cares," and "aren't you special" means you aren't.




Understanding sarcasm requires brain power

Studies revealed that exposure to sarcasm enhances problem-solving. It appears to stimulate complex thinking.

Sarcasm also requires the brain to work harder, making it sharper. To perceive sarcasm, a person has to see beyond the literal meaning of the words and understand that the speaker may be thinking of something entirely different.



The dual nature of sarcasm

Sarcasm has a two-faced quality: it's funny and mean.

Some language experts suggest sarcasm is a gentler way to criticize with indirectness. "How do you keep this room so neat?" Other researchers have found the mocking nature of sarcasm as more hurtful than plain-spoken criticism.



Sarcasm is a tool

Sarcasm can express our expectations as well as our disappointments.

When rain spoils an outdoor picnic, and you say, "We picked a fine day for this," it means you had hoped it would be sunny and you're unhappy about the rain.



Clues to detect sarcasm

Not everyone thinks sarcasm is funny. There is also not just one way to be sarcastic. Sarcasm can be implied with pitch, tone, volume, pauses, duration, and punctuation.

Facial expressions can also indicate sarcasm. Expressions around the mouth, instead of the eyes, were most often cited as a clue to a sarcastic statement.



Detecting sarcasm can be difficult

The inability to understand sarcasm may be a warning sign of brain conditions.

Scientists found that autism, closed head injuries, brain lesions, and schizophrenia can interfere with the ability to understand sarcasm. People with frontotemporal dementia have difficulty detecting sarcasm. The loss of the ability to pick up on sarcasm could be used as an early warning signal to diagnose the disease.




Emotional crying

Charles Darwin once declared emotional tears "purposeless."

Humans are the only creatures whose tears are not only a result of pain or irritation but can be triggered by their feelings. Emo...

A range of feelings

Crying is more than a symptom of sadness. It can also be triggered by empathy, surprise, anger, or grief.

Competing theories

  • Some ludicrous theories are that humans evolved from aquatic apes and tears helped humans to live in saltwater.
  • Others persist that crying removes toxic substances from the blood that builds up during times of stress.
  • More plausible theories are that tears trigger social bonding and human connection.
  • Crying signals that there's some important problem that is at least temporarily beyond your ability to cope.
  • Tears show others that we're vulnerable, which is critical to human connection.
  • Crying is also used in manipulating others.

one more idea

What Intermittent fasting is

What Intermittent fasting is

Intermittent fasting is based on the idea that when you reduce your calorie intake for limited stretches of time, your body will use its stored fat for energy. Intermittent fasting...

Time-restricted eating

One intermittent fasting method is known as time-restricted eating: A person consumes all of their calories for the day within an 8-to-12-hour window. You might eat breakfast at 8 AM, including coffee, and finishing your dinner by 6 PM.

In an experiment, two sets of mice were fed the same diet and ate the same number of calories a day. One set had access to food for 24 hours, and the other group had access for only 8 hours. After 18 weeks, the group that could eat all hours showed signs of insulin resistance and had liver damage. The mice who ate in an 8-hour window did not have the condition and weighed 28 percent less than the other group.

Food at the right time

Many of the human body’s processes are tied to our circadian rhythms.

Eating food at the right time can nurture us, and healthy food at the wrong time can be junk food because it gets stored as fat instead of being used as fuel.

The main element needed for developing humor

The main element needed for developing humor

Children need socialization to develop a feel for humor. They must understand that they are sharing an experience with another person.

We do this by engaging in eye contact...

The ability to communicate jokes

Children first need to possess a few basic cognitive skills to communicate jokes, such as imagination, the ability to take a different perspective, and language.

These abilities tend to develop at different rates in children and continue to grow and change throughout adolescence and adulthood.

Language and humor

Most types of humour involve the realisation of contradiction, or a mismatch, between a concept and a situation. In other words, we laugh when things surprise us because they are out of place. Even simple games like peek-a-boo have an element of surprise where someone suddenly appears out of nowhere.

Researchers think that communication is essential for humor and that humor facilitates the process of learning a language.