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Study links dark humour to intelligence

Some believe so-called dark humour involving jokes about death and tragedy springs from a sick mind.

Picture: freeimages.com.

LONDON - Some believe so-called dark humour involving jokes about death and tragedy springs from a sick mind.

However, new research from Europe suggests the opposite, claiming those who find such things funny are likely to be more intelligent.

Scientists from Austria studied people's reactions to distasteful jokes, from a cartoon book full of dark humour.

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna asked more than 150 people to rate the jokes, whether they understood them, thought them funny or vulgar.

Each participant was also tested for different characteristics including intelligence, emotional stability and aggressiveness.

Those who understood and appreciated the jokes were cleverer and less aggressive than those who didn’t.

As with enjoying a pun, unravelling the layers of meaning requires mental exercise.