We all have that one friend that has an extremely dark sense of humor. They might have made a room full of awkward silence after cracking a morbid joke! If you don’t have this friend, maybe it’s you! If you have a dark sense of humor like me, you’ll be pleased to find out we are very special!
People who are able to have a good laugh at a dark subject or morbid joke have been found to be intelligent, or more intelligent than others on many different occasions. One study in the Journal of Cognitive Processing found that intelligence plays a key role in the appreciation of dark humor. Researchers led by Ulrike Willinger at the Medical University of Vienna asked more than 150 people to rate their comprehensive enjoyment of 12 darkly humorous cartoons taken from the Black Book by German cartoonist Uli Stein. The Subjects were also tested for verbal and nonverbal IQ and asked about their mood, aggression, and educational background.
The British Psychological Society Research Digest blog reports that the study found three groups of participants. The group with the highest sick humor appreciation and comprehension scored the highest in verbal and nonverbal IQ tests, were better educated, and scored lower for aggression and bad mood. Willinger and her team said their findings suggested that appreciating dark humor was a “complex information-processing task” in which negative moods and high aggression levels could cloud people’s ability to get the joke.
You shouldn’t be ashamed for thinking a cruel joke is funny. It shows that you have the ability to find light in dark situations. It also means that you are emotionally stable and you will be able to adapt to any unexpected challenges life throws at you.
“This fits with past research showing that sense of humor correlates with IQ, but refutes the somewhat commonly-held belief that people who like black humor tend to be grumpy and perhaps a little prone to sadism,” the digest said.