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Often times people who use sarcasm can be seen as mean or passive aggressive.  However, it turns out that sarcasm is an important survival trait

According to new research, it is believed that our ancestors used sarcasm in order to define friends and foes.  Katherine Rankin, a Neurologist from the University of California says that humans used sarcasm as a way to survive socially and form relationships while strengthening bonds.

Neurologists like Dr. Rakin believe that sarcasm is interpreted and created in the parahippocampal gyrus area of your brain.  This is the same area where social intelligence comes from.

It’s hard to know for certain, but some researchers feel that sarcasm may have been a huge part of establishing early human civilizations.  Specifically because of the need for people to relate to one another while interacting socially.

I can just visualize a tribe sitting around the fire and suddenly all of the participants start laughing because one of the children sarcastically acts out a funny moment from their adventures earlier that day.

Socializing was and still is an important part of survival.  People came together for the benefits of working together.  More could be done with less work in a group, you had more eyes looking out for danger and more chances of finding food.

Humor is Important in Connecting with Others

A French researcher named Nicolas Gueguen did a study on 60 young women ages 20 to 26.  The women were actually unaware that the study was taking place.  In a social setting, each woman interacted with a moderately sarcastic man and then a straight forward but kind man.  The women reported that they felt more attracted to the sarcastic man.

This isn’t the only case, in another study researchers found that people who can dish jokes as well as take them were more successful in social situations.  Face it, sometimes it isn’t the most efficient worker that gets that promotion, sometimes it’s the guy with charisma.

In another study, they looked at 375 different engineering students.  Each student was asked to pretend to be a customer while listening to the interactions between other customers and customer service agents.

While some interactions were neutral, others were almost hostile.  Then the students were given an analytic problem that they needed to solve creatively.  Those students who heard the angry conversation were better at solving the problem than those who heard only the nice conversation.

 

This makes sense because stress is a large motivator for getting things done.  Just remember that long term stress can backfire and we should find a better way to motivate people to think creatively.

What do you think about sarcasm, humor, and anger when it comes to motivation, attraction, intelligence and a person’s ability to think creatively?  Let us know in the comments below.

Source- Higher Perspective