WARNING: We’ve included a few images that you might find offensive. If you have fragile sensibilities, please leave now! But if your sense of humor is strong you will definitely get a kick out of this article.
They say that a dark sense of humor is like food, not everyone gets it. But if you find yourself laughing at the image below, well there really is nothing to be guilty about. After all, science says that a dark sense of humor is a sign of high intelligence.
According to research conducted at the Medical University of Vienna, people who find pleasure from ‘sick’ or dark humor can be deemed as people with high levels of verbal and non-verbal intelligence. In addition, the research led by psychologist Ulrike Willinger also found out that these people also have a lower aggression level as compared to others.
The same study which has been published in the journal Cognitve Processing, involved 156 people with an average age of 33 years old also included 76 women. All of the participants were asked to read 12 ‘sick’ comic strips taken from The Black Book created by the talented German cartoonist, Uli Stein.
Afterward, each of the participants was asked to rate their understanding and enjoyment over the 12 selected darkly humorous strip. Aside from this, they were also required to take a verbal and non-verbal test to measure their IQ levels. On top of that, their educational background, mood, and aggression levels were also evaluated in order to arrive at a precise finding.
By the end of the study, the research led by psychologist Willinger found that their participants could be categorized into three groups.
The first group who scored the highest in the appreciation and comprehension of the sick jokes also scored the highest in the verbal and non-verbal IQ test. They also turned out to be better educated than the others and have the lowest score for aggression.
On the other hand, the second group has a moderate understanding of the dark-humored strip yet they did not enjoy it at all. As it turned out, these are the same people who scored average in the verbal and non-verbal IQ test. They also scored the highest bad mood and aggression levels as compared to the rest.
Lastly, the third group has shown moderate appreciation and comprehension of the sick joke. As it turned out, they also scored average in the verbal and non-verbal IQ test just like the second group. However, they have a higher evaluation of their good mood while a moderate score for their aggression level.
The result of the study begs to disagree with the theory developed by the renowned Sigmund Freud. In his theory developed in the year 1905, Sigmund Freud believed that there is a strong relationship between aggression and humor. For him, a person’s sense of humor gives him an outlet to release his repressed sexual and aggressive urges in a safe and secure manner.
“The most surprising result,” Willinger stated, “is that subjects who show the highest values with respect to black humor preference and comprehension show high values with respect to intelligence, have higher education levels and show lowest values regarding mood disturbance and aggression.”
Their findings support Sigmund Freud’s claim that a sense of humor correlates with one’s IQ level. However, it disproves Freud’s belief that those who appreciate dark humor are aggressive and grumpy.
“Seemingly, only those subjects who have no aggressive feelings towards others, as well as no mood disturbance such as dysphoric or depressive mood, can afford or get away with playful exposure in the course of black humor processing.” The psychologist who led the research further explained.
Indeed, although some of the 12 dark humored illustrations depict violence and aggressive references, the study showed that those who appreciated it scored the lowest in their aggression and mood evaluation.
Willinger and her colleagues explained that their research suggests that processing ‘sick’ jokes is a complex information-processing task that needs an above average level of intelligence, good mood, and collected self in order to understand and appreciate it.
Do you know someone who appreciates dark humor? SHARE this article or TAG your friends in the comment section to for a dose of their cup of tea?!