Report: 79% Of Sincere Thoughts Played Off As Jokes

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Report: 79% Of Sincere Thoughts Played Off As Jokes

NEW HAVEN, CT—According to a groundbreaking new report from researchers at Yale University’s Center for Cultural Sociology, a full 79 percent of all sincere thoughts expressed in conversation are played off as jokes before they register their intended effect. “Our research shows conclusively that whenever an individual attempts to express a compliment, concern, or other personal opinion, they will, in nearly four-fifths of cases, quickly neutralize this sentiment through the use of sarcasm or another rhetorical device intended to convey a lack of seriousness,” said Yale sociologist and lead author of the study Laura Briscoe, citing multiple case studies in which a subject began to tell a friend how much their friendship meant to him or her, before abruptly diverting the conversation into an extended comic routine on how they should get married and open a bed and breakfast. “In fact, in the rare event that an individual successfully communicates a candid idea or belief—for example, a woman telling her husband she wants a baby, without then remarking that they could sell it on the black market—the vast majority of listeners are so conditioned to everything they hear being passed off as jokes that they assume the other person is joking, thus disarming the sentiment. All told, the proportion of genuine, heartfelt words that actually reach the intended party is about 1 percent.” Briscoe hurriedly added that her research was actually pretty stupid, and that she only became the head of Yale’s sociology department “to get at that sweet behaviorism money.”


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