Sarcastic people are more creative, says study. Oh wow, big surprise
Well this is brand new information
Oh great, more research stories from babe right? Groundbreaking. OK but hear me out on this one, it’s a good one. A new study has discovered that people who are naturally sarcastic are more creative and, well, just “better thinkers” than others.
A team of researchers from Columbia, Harvard and the INSEAD business school found that sarcasm forces people to think critically – essentially, if you’re sarcastic you’re more able to examine a statement to find it’s actual meaning, and imbue whatever you’re talking about with different levels of true meaning. All of this means sarcastic people are better at abstract thinking and making creative connections between whatever they see and hear in the world.
Speaking to the Harvard Gazette, one of the researchers, Francesca Gino of the Harvard Business School, said: “To create or decode sarcasm, both the expressers and recipients of sarcasm need to overcome the contradiction between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions. This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking.”
The full study, entitled Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, also found that while sarcasm can be an instigator of conflict with people we don’t know, being sarcastic with people we know and trust can increase our creativity without elevating conflict
Gino said: “Not only did we demonstrate the causal effect of expressing sarcasm on creativity and explore the relational cost sarcasm expressers and recipients have to endure, we also demonstrated, for the first time, the cognitive benefit sarcasm recipients could reap.
“Those in the sarcasm conditions subsequently performed better on creativity tasks than those in the sincere conditions or the control condition. This suggests that sarcasm has the potential to catalyze creativity in everyone. That being said, although not the focus of our research, it is possible that naturally creative people are also more likely to use sarcasm, making it an outcome instead of a cause in this relationship.”