Study Finds That A Dark Sense Of Humour Is Linked To Intelligence

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If your way of dealing with the current political climate is to make endless dark and twisted jokes then you may in fact be a genius. A study recently published in the journal Cognitive Processing has found that intelligence plays a central role in the appreciation of black humour as does an individual's levels of aggression.

Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna took 156 men and women aged on average 33 years-old and asked them to rate their understanding and enjoyment of 12 darkly humourous cartoons.

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According to The Guardian: "Examples include a cartoon depicting a morgue where a physician lifts a cover sheet off a body. A woman confirms: "Sure, that's my husband – anyway, which washing powder did you use to get that so white?"

They were also tested for their IQ and surveyed about their mood, aggression and education.

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According to the British Psychological Society Research Digest the study identified three different groups within the participants. The first group who rated the dark cartoons highest and understood them best also scored the highest in IQ test, were better educated and had lower levels of aggression.

"This fits with past research showing that sense of humour correlates with IQ, but refutes the somewhat commonly-held belief that people who like black humour tend to be grumpy and perhaps a little prone to sadism," the British Psychology Society said.

The second showed moderate understanding of the jokes but enjoyed them the least, their intelligence scored as average but interestingly had the highest aggression levels. "So perhaps opposite to what you might expect," the BPS said, "this research found no evidence that grumpy, aggressive people enjoy sick or black humour."

The final group moderately understood and appreciated the cartoons, showed average intelligence but also had moderate mood and aggression score.

The Digest concluded that, "Willinger and her team said their findings suggested black humour processing is a "complex information-processing task", and were consistent with past research suggesting that low mood impairs humour appreciation, this seeming to be true even in the case of sick jokes. Apparently it takes a certain amount of intelligence, good mood and calmness to recognise and enjoy the "playful fiction" of black humour."

Good news for sick people everywhere.