From the Greek and Latin for “to tear flesh,” the word sarcasm has been defined as “hostility disguised as humor,” the contempt-laden speech favored by smart alecks and mean girls that’s best to avoid.
But new research by out of Harvard University finds that sarcasm is far more nuanced, and actually offers some important, overlooked psychological and organizational benefits. Sarcasm has been shown to increase creativity for both expressers and recipients. Sarcasm also enhances problem solving. Using edgy forms of humor has long been an interest of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. When sarcasm is used in light-hearted ways, it deepens social bonds too.
Sarcasm also works our brain. Studies show that language we hear is processed through the left hemisphere of the brain which interprets the literal meaning of the words. Then, the frontal lobes and the right hemisphere check the content for intention, contradictions, emotional and social meanings. Finally, the prefrontal cortex of the brain lets us know if what we've heard is sarcasm.
Bottom line, sarcasm is good for you.