Jokes take intelligence to be understood. It's linked to mental agility, the ability to get the joke quickly. Thus, one study says, appreciation of sick or black humor may be linked to the person's intellect.
Dark humor is usually about death, illness or tragedy. Not everyone appreciates sick jokes, but some people find them more hilarious than others. A new study in the journal Cognitive Processing learned the link between sick jokes and intelligence.
In a study
led by Ulrike Willinger at the Medical University of Vienna, experts gathered 156 participants to know the level of their enjoyment watching 12 black humor cartoons taken from The Black Book by Uli Stein. The participants were also asked to complete tests on verbal and non-verbal IQ, and answered questions about their mood, aggressive tendencies and educational background.
Results showed that people who enjoyed sick jokes the most and understood them best, had also scored the highest on verbal and non-verbal IQ. The same people were as well better educated, and scored lower for aggression and bad mood.
On the other hand, people with moderate comprehension and the lowest sick joke enjoyment had average intelligence scores, but showed the most negative mood and the highest aggression.
According to Willinger and her team, their findings suggest that black humor processing is a “complex information-processing task”. The person's mood also affects the level of appreciation of black humor. Apparently, it takes a certain amount of intelligence, good mood and calmness to recognize and enjoy dark jokes.