Are you that person who tells a really bad, tasteless joke about death to a group of coworkers and delivers the punchline with a roaring, evil laugh that leaves your colleagues shuddering in discomfort and not only worried, but embarrassed for you?
Well, hey, guess what? Screw them! Because your dark sense of humour probably means you're a genius.
In a new study published in Cognitive Processing journal, researchers at the Medical University of Vienna say they have found a link between intelligence and dark humour.
Before we dive in, let's clarify what dark humour actually means.
According to the study led by Ulrike Willinger and his team, dark humour is "a kind of humour that treats sinister subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap or warfare with bitter amusement and presents such tragic, distressing or morbid topics in humorous terms."
If these subject matters make you ROFL, then great, we're glad you're here. Let's continue.
Asking 156 participants with an average age of 33 to rate how much they LOL'd and understood a series of dark cartoons from "The Black Book" by Uli Stein (oh, you haven't read this book? Spolier alert: It's about "abysmal, deep black humour beyond all limits of taste," which obviously sounds like a great read), the study found that those who preferred tragic humour scored higher in various verbal and non-verbal IQ tests.
Researchers concluded the link between IQ and finding pleasure in black humour is likely do to with the fact that comprehending a dark joke is "a complex information-processing task." Yup, your love of totally tasteless punchlines is like a mental exercise "related to the ability to treat nasty contents as playful fiction."
But hey, it's important to remember that humour can be a coping mechanism for those exposed to trauma.
As for those who didn't find jokes about death funny? Research showed those people had "emotional instability" and higher aggression.
So, the keys to appreciating a sick joke? Intelligence, a positive attitude and calmness.
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