ERIC Number: EJ1092186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Individual Differences in the Processing of Written Sarcasm and Metaphor: Evidence from Eye Movements
Olkoniemi, Henri; Ranta, Henri; Kaakinen, Johanna K.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v42 n3 p433-450 Mar 2016
The present study examined individual differences in the processing of different forms of figurative language. Sixty participants read sarcastic, metaphorical, and literal sentences embedded in story contexts while their eye movements were recorded, and responded to a text memory and an inference question after each story. Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC), need for cognition (NFC), and cognitive-affective processing were measured. The results showed that the processing of metaphors was characterized by slow-down during first-pass reading of the utterances, whereas sarcasm produced mainly delayed effects in the eye movement records. Sarcastic utterances were also harder to comprehend than literal or metaphorical utterances as indicated by poorer performance in responses to inference questions. Individual differences in general cognitive factors (WMC and NFC) were related to the processing of metaphors, whereas individual differences in both general cognitive factors (WMC) as well as processing of emotional information were related to the processing of sarcasm. The results indicate that different forms of figurative language pose different cognitive demands to the reader, and show that reader characteristics play a prominent role in figurative language comprehension.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Individual Differences, Figurative Language, Eye Movements, Short Term Memory, Inferences, Cognitive Processes, Reading Comprehension, Scores, Task Analysis, Reader Text Relationship, Reaction Time, Emotional Response, Negative Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland