Ever have an inappropriate joke pop into your head during a somber moment? Congratulations, you’re a perverted weirdo. Just kidding (probably) — your dark taste in humor may actually mean you’ve got a high IQ. (Actually sharing those morbid jokes aloud in sensitive settings is another thing…)
There’s no shame in letting out a little smirk after reading a borderline disturbing meme online. No, morbid humour doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a twisted psychopath (keyword: necessarily). According to a study published in January 2017 in the journal Cognitive Processing, understanding and/or preferring dark humor may be indicative of high intelligence. Of the three groups of participants in the study, those with a high preference and comprehension of dark humour also had high nonverbal and verbal intelligence, as well as no mood disturbance and low aggressiveness. Here’s the breakdown of the three distinct groups, based on their respective scores:
- Moderate black humour comprehension and preference, average non-verbal and verbal intelligence, low values in mood disturbances, and moderate values in aggressiveness
- Moderate black humour comprehension and low black humour preference, average non-verbal and verbal intelligence, high values in mood disturbances and high values in aggressiveness
- High black humour comprehension and preference, high non-verbal and verbal intelligence, no mood disturbances, and low values in aggressiveness.
The study describes this humor as “a kind of humour that treats sinister subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap or warfare with bitter amusement” and states that it “is used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox and cruelty of the modern world.” The book they used to test the study participants was “The Black Book” by Uli Stein, which is about “abysmal, deep black humour beyond all limits of taste.” Sounds fun, huh?
Not all geniuses are required to love tasteless, lewd humor. The people who were most intelligent either liked dark humor or had a high comprehension of those twisted jokes. Test yourself — do you understand these jokes used in the study?
1. In an operating theatre, a surgeon has one arm deep in an opened body. Another surgeon explains the situation to a man in a suit: “The autopsy is finished; he is only looking for his wristwatch.”
2. In a morgue, a physician is lifting a white cover sheet off a body with a woman standing beside him. The woman confirms: “Sure, that’s my husband – anyway, which washing powder did you use to get that so white?”
So don’t feel bad if you enjoy a sick joke now and again, but just remember – honour the ‘too soon’ rule if you don’t want to get yourself in trouble.
Check out my related post: Do you want to take a test to prove you are not a psychopath?