Psychologist Gordon Claridge found two competing traits comedians have: introverted anhedonia and extroverted impulsiveness.

In a study conducted by the University of Oxford, researchers found that comedians scored significantly higher in psychotic personality traits than the general population. Specifically, comedians were more likely than non-comedians to experience: cognitive disorganization, which refers to trouble focusing and a tendency to get distracted; a belief in unusual personal experiences, such as paranormal encounters or telepathic communication; introverted anhedonia, which is a reduced ability to derive pleasure from social and physical interaction; and impulsive nonconformity, which is the tendency to act on impulse and behave erratically.

Dr. Gordon Claridge, a professor for the University of Oxford’s Experimental Psychology Department, believes these psychotic tendencies are what make great comedians so entertaining.

Photo source: Robin Williams Live at the Met 1986