Sarcasm used to be frowned upon and regarded negatively. In the past it was referred to as “the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt”, at least from the stand point of Cassandra Clare in her book “City of Bones.” Oscar Wild also used to say that it was the “lowest form of wit.”
Nowadays, this form of speech is widely accepted as a humorous way to communicate. A recent study published in the Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, has found that sarcasm can enhance creativity.
In the study, researchers performed three individual trials with people divided into two groups. One group consisted of people who were sincere and sarcastic while the other group of participants included people who listened to the first group.
Both groups were given tests and researchers discovered that those who thought, said, or listened to sarcasm performed better in creativity assessments. It was concluded that the brain can do amazing things during the process of understanding and forming sarcastic remarks.
One of the lead researchers of the study, Li Huang, Ph.D., said that sarcasm improves abstract thinking which in turn stimulates creativity. To be able to correctly interpret the meaning of a sarcastic remark, one had to interpret, construct and figure out the meaning of a statement with opposite meanings. The process of analyzing the meaning of a sarcastic comment triggers abstract thinking in both the listener and the person expressing it.
It is not easy to correctly understand sarcasm within a matter seconds and it is said that people who are sarcastic or find it funny are both creative and intelligent. If you are criticized for using sarcastic comments, you might want to stress the fact that a study has found you to be smart and creative. It is also a great way to tolerate this crazy world nowadays.