Sarcasm Turns Out to Be Great Creativity Tool. You’re Welcome.


A new paper suggests that sarcasm is underrated:

Studies 1 and 2 found that both sarcasm expressers and recipients reported more conflict but also demonstrated enhanced creativity following a simulated sarcastic conversation or after recalling a sarcastic exchange.

Um, yeah. I remember that part. It’s why my boss once told me I had to give her a dollar every time I said something sarcastic. It was the best she could do since HR told her shock collars violated OSHA regulations. Anyway, onward:

Study 3 demonstrated that sarcasm’s effect on creativity for both parties was mediated by abstract thinking and generalizes across different forms of sarcasm. Finally, Study 4 found when participants expressed sarcasm toward or received sarcasm from a trusted other, creativity increased but conflict did not. We discuss sarcasm as a double-edged sword: despite its role in instigating conflict, it can also be a catalyst for creativity.

I would tell you more, but the abstract is all I have access to. Besides, I have a funny feeling that if I read the actual paper I’d find myself underwhelmed by the methodology. If you’re looking for a justification for your witty repartee—and aren’t we all?—maybe it’s best just to let things stand where they are.