I found an interesting article: http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/neu193288.pdf
It's not an easy read (for me), so I don't have anything near an understanding of what all it says. But there were pieces of it that I found interesting. To me there seems to be a strong feeling of connection between what the following portions say, and an example of what is meant by "internal" in the internal/external aspect (the one I refer to as implicit/explicit)…which is the N and F functions.
I do know that …well…every NF I've met in person…enjoys irony a great deal, to the point of seeking it out in movies, literature, shared stories, humor, and incorporate it constantly in conversations. I'm not saying that only NFs use irony. But it's seemed to me that there are definitely differences between the sarcasm of an NT, an SF, and an NF. I'm still trying to figure out ST humor, lol. (There 's also slight differences, I think, between the focuses of the betan and deltan NFs..though each can appreciate the humour of the other, the …mmm…starting point(?)..seems to be different between them.)
Anyways, here are the portions of the paper that stood out the most too me. Ok, the only parts that made any possible kind of sense to me, lol.
Anyone have any comments about it?
Irony is an indirect form of speech used to convey feelings in an indirect way. Ironic utterances are characterized by opposition between the literal meaning of the sentence and the speaker's meaning. One form of irony is sarcasm. Sarcasm is usually used to communicate implicit criticism about the listener or the situation. It is usually used in situations provoking negative affect and is accompanied by disapproval, contempt, and scorn…….The ironic speaker intends that the listener detect the deliberate falseness; he makes a statement that violates the context and intends the listener to recognize this statement. The interpretation of sarcasm thus involves understanding of the intentions expressed in the situation and may include processes of social cognition and theory of mind. (p1 left side)
It has been demonstrated that the use of sarcasm has several social communicative functions, such as increasing the perceived politeness of the criticism, decreasing the perceived threat and aggressiveness of the criticism, and creating a humorous atmosphere. It appears that a deficit in understanding sarcastic utterances may reflect an impaired ability to understand social cues such as intentions, beliefs, and emotions. (p1 left/right side)
A key aspect of social cognition is the ability to infer other people's mental state, thoughts, and feelings, commonly referred to as the theory of mind (ToM). Although irony has been investigated from a psycholinguistic perspective, recent findings in developmental and neuropsychological research suggest that understanding irony involves understanding of social cues and requires ToM. (p1 right side)
Given the emotional and social communicative function of sarcastic utterances, it is only to be expected that its interpretation would be mediated by brain areas specialized in affective processing and social cognition.
In the process of interpreting sarcastic utterances, the individual is required to understand the speaker's feelings, intentions, and perspective. (p10 left side)
It has been suggested that understanding irony requires the ability to grasp the speaker's actual beliefs and the speaker's belief about the listener's belief. (p10 left side)
Although some theorists have argued that in the process of understanding sarcasm, the listener first interprets the literal meaning of the sentence and then reinterprets it according to the context and the speaker's meaning, others have emphasized the importance of the speaker's attitude and suggested that the speaker's meaning might be accessed without full processing of the literal meaning and its incongruity. (p11 left side)
….First, the literal meaning of the utterance is interpreted in left hemisphere language cortices. Hence at the beginning of the process, judgment of a literal and a nonliteral meaning of a sentence involves a common neural network. Second, the intentional, social, and emotional context is processed in the frontal lobes and the right hemisphere, correspondingly. At this stage, the contradiction between the literal meaning and the social emotional context is identified. Finally, to derive the true meaning of the utterance, the listener then has to integrate the literal meaning along with the social and emotional knowledge of the particular situation and previous situations and make a decision regarding the true meaning. (p11 left side)