Not So Funny? Comedians Have Psychotic Traits
Score higher compared to those in 'non-creative' jobs
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2014 9:19 AM CST
In this June 8, 2012 photo, the owner of the Jokes and Notes comedy club is silhouetted.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Plenty of people would agree comedians are a bit crazy—but are they psychotic? Not quite, but they measure as having higher levels of psychotic personality traits than those in "non-creative" professions, a new study finds. Researchers had 523 comedians, 364 actors, and 831 people in the "non-creative jobs" group answer a survey that assessed four psychotic qualities, generally: a belief in things like the paranormal, difficulty focusing, a tendency to avoid intimacy, and antisocial or impulsive behavior. Comedians' scores dwarfed those of the non-creative group in all four areas; actors scored higher than that group on three, but didn't show high levels of introverted personalities, Reuters reports.

This certainly doesn't mean comedians are psychotic, says lead author Gordon Claridge. Here's his assessment:

  • "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. Although schizophrenic psychosis itself can be detrimental to humor, in its lesser form it can increase people's ability to associate odd or unusual things or to think 'outside the box'. Equally, manic thinking—which is common in people with bipolar disorder—may help people combine ideas to form new, original and humorous connections."
For comedians who may have some psychotic traits, "their comedy is almost an outlet for that," Claridge tells the BBC. But a psychiatrist downplays the findings: "People with psychosis and schizophrenia have a very impaired ability to appreciate humorous material. This study tells us some interesting things about the differences between comedians and actors but not about the link with psychosis."

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Jan 16, 2014 9:51 PM CST
Proof : Rosie O'Donnell, Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr...
Jan 16, 2014 8:45 PM CST
And so belief in the paranormal is now being “defined” by “psychology” as suggesting if not indicating psychosis. Interesting, too, that they include such things as lack of focus on that list, since the manifestations that tend to suggest laws beyond the conventional often if not usually are modest in scope and subtle in nature. The kind of things that those who think in huge plodding chunks of prescribed New World Order propaganda, ignoring cases where what the New World Order says conflicts with the truth or “explaining away” the truth as a “legitimization” of New World Order lies. Incidentally, even “science” accepts the influence of laws beyond what they are willing to admit. There is not a single “experiment” that doesn't have results that do not fit in either with standard laws or any new laws the “experiment” is intended to indicate. Those results are termed “residuals” and are routinely thrown away, because they won't benefit the “scientists” lies, and never acknowledged. This also brings up the subject, mentioned a significant number of times just after September 11, of “legislators” considering passing a law “defining” mistrust of government as a form of mental illness, allowing such an individual to be swiftly and summarily locked away. This has been termed a “rumor”, but no evidence has been produced to disprove that it wasn't entered into consideration. And is still being entered in to consideration. Overall, though, including this in the official “definition” of psychotic behavior does demonstrate the patent use of “psychology”, like all the rest of “science” against the welfare of mankind by the New World Order.
Jan 16, 2014 7:17 PM CST
LOL, if you believe in the paranormal you're "psychotic" ? LOL - Trouble "concentrating" ? sounds like they have issues with people who are both creative and open-minded / psychic. I say, people who can concentrate on boring sh*t and who are afraid to admit that paranormal does exist are crazy. There. Deal with that. I forgot what else they said because I can't concentrate, ha ha