There are two kinds of people in this world: those who understand sarcasm and those who don't. According to new research, those who belong to the former group are better.
Researchers from multiple universities divided participants into three groups and asked participants from each to simulate conversations based on specific guidelines.
One group was directed to engage in sarcastic dialogue, the second, sincere dialogue, and the third (control) group engaged in neutral conversation.
Immediately after, the researchers measured the participants' creativity through a series of tasks.
They observed, as hypothesized, those who engaged in sarcastic conversations (both talking and listening) were more adept at completing creative tasks than those who didn't.
The reason for this, the researchers claim, is simple. In order to understand sarcasm, you have to be able to think creatively — to pick up on the implicit meaning of a statement while simultaneously ignoring the (contradictory) explicit claim.
Sarcasm is one of several traits that may be linked with a higher cognitive and creative function; others include introversion, skepticism and daydreaming.
While being sarcastic is not necessarily a predictor of creative behavior — there are always outliers — it's an interesting correlating factor.
So the next time someone calls you a smart aleck because of your wittiness, you can thank them for noticing. Smart you are, indeed.