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Comedians have psychotic personality traits, study finds

Published on Jan 16, 2014 8:35 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Having an unusual personality structure could be the secret to making other people laugh, scientists said on Thursday after research showed that comedians have high levels of psychotic personality traits.

In a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers analysed comedians from Australia, Britain and the United States and found they scored significantly higher on four types of psychotic characteristics compared to a control group of people who had non-creative jobs.

The traits included a tendency towards impulsive or anti-social behaviour, and a tendency to avoid intimacy.

"The creative elements needed to produce humour are strikingly similar to those characterising the cognitive style of people with psychosis - both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," said Mr Gordon Claridge of the University of Oxford's department of experimental psychology, who led the study.

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