In a recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers recruited 523 comedians – 404 men and 119 women – from the United States, Australia and the UK and asked them to complete an online questionnaire designed to measure psychotic traits in healthy people.
The researchers found that all of the subjects scored significantly high in four types of psychotic characteristics. The traits included “a tendency towards impulsive or anti-social behavior” and a “tendency to avoid intimacy.”
“The creative elements needed to produce humor are strikingly similar to those characterizing the cognitive style of people with psychosis – both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” explained Gordon Claridge of the department of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford.
Although the traits are classified as “psychotic”, Claridge said they can also “represent healthy equivalents of features” such as moodiness, social introversion and the tendency to lateral thinking.
I’m thinking of every comic I’ve ever met, and yup, sounds about right.
[Via New York Times]