Sarcasm propels intelligence for both speaker and listener


A new study shows that adding a little sarcasm into your life can be healthy.  Led by researchers at Columbia University, Harvard University, and INSEAD business school, the study revealed that sarcasm can promote creative thinking processes.

The study, published in the journal Organisational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, found that with sarcasm, there is often a need to decode statements, which requires abstract thinking, thus promoting more creative connections in peoples’ brains.

In a series of tests, participants conducted simulated conversations where they were instructed to be either sarcastic or sincere.  At the end of the tests, those participants who had to express and receive sarcastic statements performed better on creativity tasks than those who were sincere or in the control group. 

Obviously, the negatives of sarcasm are clear; sometimes it can just come off as mean or cold.

Though, there are more healthy forms of sarcasm.  “Unlike sarcasm between parties who distrust each other, sarcasm between individuals who share a trusting relationship does not generate more contempt than sincerity,” study co-author Adam Galinsky of Columbia University explains in a press release

The moral is, if you use your sarcasm wisely, you’ll be helping to make the world a smarter place.