Have a Dark Sense of Humor? Science Says You're Smarter Than Average

Kelsey Clark
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Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

If you have a sometimes off-putting knack for finding humor in the dark, perverse, or morbid subjects of life, pat yourself on the back; you may be more intelligent than average.

Such is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Cognitive Processing, which found that dark humor, defined as "a kind of humor that treats sinister subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap, or warfare with bitter amusement," is actually a sign of higher intelligence. We assume the news will come as a pleasant surprise to the creators of Cards Against Humanity.

To come to this conclusion, the researchers asked 156 participants with an average age of 33 to rate their comprehension and enjoyment of 12 different "black humor" cartoons. Next, the participants completed basic verbal and non-verbal IQ tests, in addition to answering questions regarding their mood and educational background.

In the end, the participants with the highest IQ scores were the most likely to understand the dark jokes and, furthermore, find them funny. The researchers reason that understanding humor, let alone dark humor, is a "complex information-processing task" wrapped up in social and emotional cues that can be difficult to unwrap.

For more information, check out the original study, and share your thoughts on the results below.

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