News

Don’t be sarcastic to over-65s

TELLING Daily Examiner readers there is a university study showing older people find it hard to detect sarcasm provoked a predictable response: most thought it worthwhile and a good example of education spending.

After all, what could be more worthy than studying people who say the opposite of what they mean for comic effect?

The incredibly valuable research from the University of Aberdeen's psychology department tested 116 subjects, showing them videos and written stories.

Initially some readers were angry when they found Australians had been involved in the survey, although this briefly turned to joy when they found the Australians were paid to be actors in the videos.

Study leader Professor Louise Phillips said the subjects viewed videos and written stories and then were asked to explain them.

"For example," the study says, "in one simple sarcasm video, a woman is busily doing a domestic task while a man reads a book and she says (sarcastically): 'Are you busy? I know you've got a lot on'."

Participants were then required to answer yes or no to the questions: Is she trying to pressure him into helping her? Is she trying to say it's OK if he doesn't help? Is she annoyed with him? and so on.

When all the tests were marked, the 36 people who were older than 65 were just as good as the rest at understanding non-sarcastic conversations, but about seven percentage points worse on the sarcastic ones.

"Older adults have problems in decoding different types of sarcasm," the study concluded.

Some thought it was possible older people were ignoring sarcasm as they had graduated to a higher level of wit.

"We respond better to irony and satire these days," one said.

Posts on the university website thought the "unconvincing Aussie actors" and their incomprehensible accent could well have influenced the result.

Kangaroo Creek resident Steve Gonano said sarcasm required practice.

Although in the study's target range, Mr Gonano said he had little difficulty in both detecting and using sarcasm.

"There's plenty to be sarcastic about. Just look at our leaders and the people we vote for," he said.




Enjoy a world of adventure and win $1000

GROWING POPULARITY: Vietnam offers a great Asian experience and is becoming a favourite of many travellers.

You could win $1000 voucher in our bingo

Tax scams prompt ACCC warning

Hang up on and delete tax scams says professionals

Book your ticket and have a ball

News

Tickets are on sale now for the 2016 Jacaranda Ball

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started