If I say,
“Sarcasm is a reflection of a person’s creativity,”
and you reply,
“Oh, really? I didn’t know that from years of personal experience,”
then you’ll appreciate this entry.
If, however, you’re more inclined to dismiss this statement as flapdoodle (stay tuned tomorrow to see what that’s all about),
then you’ll probably just want to stop reading … here.
Few would argue that carelessly-wielded sarcasm has a way of coming off as insensitive, belittling, and even downright offensive. Still, it’s hard to deny the deductions of researchers from multiple business schools, including Harvard and Columbia, who studied sarcasm and discovered a silver lining:
It appears to be a catalyst for creativity, and naturally creative people are more likely to use it.
The seemingly supercilious title of the study, “The highest form of intelligence: Sarcasm increases creativity for both expressers and recipients,” will no doubt needle the naysayers—highest form of intelligence?—but the results speak for themselves.
After participating in conversational situations defined as sarcastic, sincere, or neutral, study participants performed varied tasks to test creativity.
“Those in the sarcasm conditions subsequently performed better on creativity tasks than those in the sincere conditions or the control condition,” reported co-author Adam Galinsky of Columbia Business School. “This suggests that sarcasm has the potential to catalyze creativity in everyone.”
Galinsky also added that, in order to successfully spark creativity, sarcasm is best reserved for banter among friends or willing workmates. “We found that, unlike sarcasm between parties who distrust each other, sarcasm between individuals who share a trusting relationship does not generate more contempt than sincerity.”
Now, seriously, in your years of personal experience, have you found this to be true? Are you equally comfortable using sarcasm in a work environment as you are, say, at home? How do others react?
Speak up, sisters …