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/ Black humour and levels of intelligence

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Timmd on 11 Jul 2018

https://www.psychologistworld.com/cognitive/black-humor-linked-to-high-intelligence-study

I found this quite interesting recently, that an appreciation of black humour seems to be linked to higher levels of intelligence, and that higher levels of emotional disturbance and feelings of aggression seem to be present in people who appreciate it less.  

Edit: I should add that my education level couldn't be seen as being among the highest, and neither my intelligence, I wouldn't have thought. I've always found it interesting, how and why people can find different things funny.

Post edited at 23:42
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marsbar - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I've always associated it with difficult jobs where people deal with things everyday that would be very stressful very occasional for most people. 

Toccata on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Common in my profession but I associate it with emotional immaturity, something often co-existing with intelligence.

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Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Toccata:

> Common in my profession but I associate it with emotional immaturity, something often co-existing with intelligence.

Interesting. What kind of ways do you find fans of black humour manifest their emotional immaturity? The way they treat others, or more internally moody/unbalanced? 

Sir Chasm - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I never found Eddie Murphy very funny, but I quite like Stephen K Amos.

cander - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Try being married to a copper - put a couple of them together - talk about dark humour, flipping toe curling - and no it’s not about intelligence or emotional immaturity- it’s a coping strategy.

Post edited at 08:19
krikoman - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I think you need to have a certain level of intelligence, to "get" the joke, otherwise it's simply being nasty, uncaring, racist or crass.

I think you need to know your audience too.

If an outsider listened in to conversations with my mates, they'd get a very distorted picture of what we're really like, but because we know we don't believe what we're saying, it works fine, and is a good laugh too.

I just like laughing, it doesn't have to be me that's making people laugh (an ex GF thought it was a competition), but if your in company and everyone's laughing there's nothing better for the soul.

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althesin on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I once knew a doctor who would giggle whilst breaking bad news to patients and relatives, he wasn't particularly intelligent, but he was probably above average.

d_b on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

They probably keep saying things that aren't funny.  Very immature of them.

Stichtplate on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Toccata:

> Common in my profession but I associate it with emotional immaturity, something often co-existing with intelligence.

I'd consider it a sign of greater emotional immaturity to be unable to unpick the different layers of intent, expression and paradox inherent in most examples of black humour.

In most professions where black humour is common the usual intent is reassurance and psychological defence. If we can laugh at the monstrous then it's associations with trauma and grief are leavened with more life affirming emotions.

grump gnome - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I have a very dark sense of humour and I'm as thick as pig shit, so that blows that theory out the water!

Thugitty Jugitty on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

From the study  - "black humour processing was assessed using 12 black humour cartoons from ‘The black book by Uli Stein’ ".

I must be thick as shit because I don't find Uli Stein's cartoons very funny. I also don't find Shakespeare's "comedies" very funny either.

Timmd on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to grump gnome:

> I have a very dark sense of humour and I'm as thick as pig shit, so that blows that theory out the water!

https://xkcd.com/356/

Yeah, somebody told me I had a very black sense of humour on talking about this cartoon, and my brainier brother didn't find it as funny as I did, but he potentially lets things bother him more than I do, which sets me wondering if there's a need for more research. Or it could just be about subjectivity?  I do like this cartoon though, my brainier brother just went 'hmmm'.  

 

Post edited at 11:51
marsbar - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to althesin:

Sometimes the brain gets a bit muddled with all the stress.  I had it happen at a funeral once.  Not helpful. 

Timmd on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Thugitty Jugitty:

> From the study  - "black humour processing was assessed using 12 black humour cartoons from ‘The black book by Uli Stein’ ".

> I must be thick as shit because I don't find Uli Stein's cartoons very funny. I also don't find Shakespeare's "comedies" very funny either.

Yes, it seems odd that they didn't use more than one person's work for the test.

Post edited at 11:55
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Wiley Coyote2 - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Since I love black humour I'm just going to file under 'Too good to check' alongside Red Wine is Good for You and award myself an honorary PhD in Brain Boxery

krikoman - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Thugitty Jugitty:

> From the study  - "black humour processing was assessed using 12 black humour cartoons from ‘The black book by Uli Stein’ ".

Couldn't we test this using English cartoons, rather than this foreign muck?

 

DerwentDiluted - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

When Mrs Diluted was a teacher she was involved in taking students to Auschwitz, and took several over to Poland. Part of this programme was going to the Imperial War Museum to meet and listen to, holocaust survivors. I tagged along on one trip, having had a lifelong interest in this, since reading Primo Levi at a young age. The one thing that stuck with me more than anything, was an entry in a glossary of camp slang at Auschwitz. 'Veteran' inmates used the term "chimney sweep" to describe the new arrivals not selected for slave labour, as they would be going up the chimney in a few hours, even though they could be their own family or friends.

Taught me a huge amount about humour as part of our humanity and resilience,  and reminded me to that it is OK to find humour in the darkest places, it is sometimes the last tool we have against horror.

Post edited at 18:45
what the hex on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Dark humour is OK but for me it needs a surreal edge otherwise it just depresses me (maybe I'm cognitively challenged!). For me, the Far Side series by Gary Larson ticks all the boxes.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/516154807284886143

Duncan Bourne - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I have worked with grave diggers who are masters at black humour. There is a famous tale of one of them who found a body in the canal on his way to work one morning, back in the late 50's. He pulled it out and called the police then waited till they arrived. They thanked him for his service but he was having none of it. "Never mind that where's me money?" Apparently it had been the custom in the past to pay a small sum for the retrieval of such unfortunates. When the police explained that this was no longer the case he cried, "Then yer can fetch 'im yer sen." and promptly threw the body back into the water.

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