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date: 07 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents evidence demonstrating that novelty rather than nonliteralness matters, whether in terms of cost or effects. With regard to costs, highly and optimally innovative stimuli take longer to process than familiar ones, regardless of degree of nonliteralness. This has been shown to be true of various populations, whether typically or atypically developing. With regard to division of labor, familiar stimuli tend to engage left hemisphere regions, whereas optimal innovations tend to engage right hemisphere areas, regardless of degree of nonliteralness. In terms of effects, optimal innovations are more pleasing than other (familiar and unfamiliar) alternatives, regardless of degree of nonliteralness. Some social factors play a role, too. For instance, optimally innovative sarcasm is most enjoyable when taking the speaker’s rather than the victim’s perspective or when outgroup members are derided by ingroup members.

Keywords: Novelty, optimal innovations, nonliteralness, sarcasm, processing, pleasure, hemispheres, group relations, atypically developing

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