Sarcastic, Drunk Bully — New Research

July 28, 2015

Picasso-FoolIn the heat of this Tuesday afternoon, I feel like tossing out to the poor folks right now, “…a bitter gibe or taunt,” just to lighten up the mob — and reveal my vast intelligence.

Via sarcasm — from the Harvard Gazette:

But new research by Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, Adam Galinsky, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, and Li Huang of INSEAD, the European business school, finds that sarcasm is far more nuanced, and actually offers some important, overlooked psychological and organizational benefits.

I’ve always been one sarcastic SOB, always ready for a gibe toward to whatever was at hand. Unfortunately, my children seem to also inherited that trait, too, which when we get together can be an awesome fling at family — all in a seek for humor in a self-depreciating way. Never knew it also had perks.

“To create or decode sarcasm, both the expressers and recipients of sarcasm need to overcome the contradiction (i.e., psychological distance) between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions.
“This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking,” said Gino via email.
While practitioners of sarcasm have long believed intuitively that the “mental gymnastics” it requires indicate “superior cognitive processes” at work, the authors say, it hasn’t been clear until now in which direction the causal link flowed, or that sarcasm boosted creativity in those receiving it, not just those dishing it out.
“Not only did we demonstrate the causal effect of expressing sarcasm on creativity and explore the relational cost sarcasm expressers and recipients have to endure, we also demonstrated, for the first time, the cognitive benefit sarcasm recipients could reap. Additionally, for the first time, our research proposed and has shown that to minimize the relational cost while still benefiting creatively, sarcasm is better used between people who have a trusting relationship,” said Gino.

Of course, using sarcasm at work or in social situations is not without risk.
It’s a communication style that can easily lead to misunderstanding and confusion or, if it’s especially harsh, bruised egos or acrimony.
But if those engaged in sarcasm have developed mutual trust, there’s less chance for hurt feelings, the researchers found, and even if conflict arises, it won’t derail the creative gains for either party.

And being a sarcastic asshole and drunk can be shitty.
Alcohol has types, which I didn’t know.
Via USAToday:

If you can “drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk,” you’re an Ernest Hemingway drunk — and you’re in the majority.
That’s the finding of University of Missouri researchers who broke down the types of drunks into four distinct categories in a study published in the Addiction Research & Theory journal.
Scientists surveyed 187 pairs of undergraduate “drinking buddies” from a Midwestern university about their sober and intoxicated states.
The findings: the subjects were either a Hemingway, Mary Poppins, Nutty Professor, or Mr. Hyde drunk.
The largest group: the Hemingways, which represented about 42 percent of the subjects.
These subjects reported experiencing the smallest decrease in organizational and intellectual skills and are “drinkers who tend not to undergo drastic character changes or experience harms” (meaning you probably won’t have to worry about getting kicked out of a bar if you’re a Hemingway).

One-fifth earned the honor of being labeled the Nutty Professor, meaning they were more introverted before imbibing and became much more gregarious and uninhibited afterward.
The Mary Poppinses, which made up about 15 percent of the pool, are “particularly agreeable” after drinking—in other words, the happy, “sweet” drunks who don’t cause any trouble.
So what was the point of the study, other than having names to attribute to friends while bar-hopping?
The researchers say it could lead to customization of alcohol intervention programs based on personality type, Time notes.
(It turns out one eye color is linked to alcoholism.)

And is you’re a sarcastic asshole, a drunk and a bully — WTF!
Via National Post:

A just-published Canadian study has added heft to a provocative new theory about bullying: that the behaviour is literally in the genes, an inherited trait that actually helps build social rank and sex appeal.
If accepted, the hypothesis rooted in evolutionary psychology could transform how schools confront the persistent and often-shattering problem.
Conventional wisdom has long suggested that bullies are “maladapted,” troubled people, lashing out because they had been abused or harassed themselves or at least had dysfunctional home lives.

“Humans tend to try to establish a rank hierarchy,” says Jennifer Wong, the criminology professor who led the study.
“When you’re in high school, it’s a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank, and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways … Bullying is a tool you can use to get there.”

Just be a sarcastic, drunk, bully — however, make sure you’re in that right crowd, otherwise…

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Acrobate et jeune Arlequin (Acrobat and Young Harlequin),’  found here).

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