Are comics neurotic?

New psychological research aims to find out...

A psychologist is to research whether comedians are more neurotic than everybody else.

Vicki Peek aims to replicate American research which found that comics tend to be shy and self-obsessed, and had little empathy with other people – and see if the same applies to British stand-ups.

And she also hopes to determine whether the type of humour a comedian specialises in is linked to their personality.

She said: ‘I am not sure what I expecting to find here because there is no previous studies on the subject. The psychological aspects of comedy is a very under-researched area.’

The University of Greenwich student is now seeking comedians to undertake a standard personality test which measures the key traits of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The previous US study, published last year, indicated that comics were more introverted and suspicious that the wider population – but that they were no more or less neurotics.

Comedians – both amateur and professional – willing to take part in the survey should email

Published: 25 Feb 2010

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