Sarcasm can make you seem witty, but it can also make you seem like a bit of an asshole. A smart, sexy and successful asshole, that is. Recent research has found that sarcasm doesn’t just make you happy, it can also help you be more creative and successful.
The modestly-titled study “The Highest Form of Intelligence: Sarcasm Increases Creativity Through Abstract Thinking For Both Expressers And Recipients” (note the sarcasm), was conducted by researchers from Harvard, Columbia and Insead and tested the effects of sarcasm by having volunteers engage in a sincere, a sarcastic, or a neutral exchange before completing a task to test creativity.
Apparently, being sarcastic takes a lot of brain power. By overcoming the contradiction between literal and actual meanings activates abstraction, in turn promoting creativity.
“Those in the sarcasm conditions subsequently performed better on creativity tasks than those in the sincere conditions or the control condition.” Adam Galinsky of the research team commented.
So go forth, be sarcastic. In moderation, of course.