/ 13 January 2022

Science says sarcasm is smart


Parents would be familiar with the trials and tribulations of teenagers, and more specifically, when they start to discover sarcasm. But take heart – the default mode for many teens can actually be a sign of intelligence, according to science. That’s because understanding and using sarcasm requires more brainpower than literal statements. While children under 5yo tend to take statements literally, by 10yo, they start to understand the art of snark. Evidence also shows the lowest form of wit can help with creativity and venting negative emotions. Recent research by University of Calgary psycholinguist Penny Pexman suggests that a child’s home environment can strongly influence their understanding and use of sarcasm. She says the sarcastic apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

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