Mind & Body

A Dark Sense Of Humor May Mean You Have A High IQ

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...)

You Better Not Laugh

There's no shame in letting out a little smirk after reading a borderline disturbing meme online. No, morbid humor 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 humor also had high nonverbal and verbal intelligence, as well as no mood disturbance and low 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?

Get It? Get It?

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?"

Written by Joanie Faletto February 14, 2017

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