Having a dark sense of humor is linked to high intelligence according to researchers at the Medical University of Vienna.
Humour processing is a complex information-processing task that is dependent on cognitive and emotional aspects which presumably influence frame-shifting and conceptual blending, mental operations that underlie humour processing.
Essentially their research shows that the higher level of dark humor preference an individual has, the higher their comprehension levels tend to be. Research also indicates that people with a higher preference for dark humor are more mentally stable and have better coping skills.
There is sometimes the assumption that individuals who demonstrate higher levels of intellect and have a dark sense of humor are: psychopathic, sociopathic, malignant narcissists or generally toxic people who are capable of executing terror or great harm to others.
What I’ve found in my own experiences, with people who have a tendency to prefer dark humor, is that they’re almost always more compassionate and charitable.
For example, I’ve known people who unashamedly tell ‘dead baby’ jokes, but would be absolutely horrified if they saw someone abusing their child and would probably be the first one to intervene.
Empathy is not a prerequisite for a higher intelligence, but having a high intelligence is not synonymous with sociopathic or psychopathic behavior either. In my experiences I’ve found that the greater the individual’s sense of humor, the more empathetic they are.
It certainly seems like, to me, the people who have an understanding, appreciation and admiration for the most vile forms of humor are, in fact, the least likely people to actually cause anybody harm.
The people who never laugh are the ones that concern me. I know, this may be an unjustified prejudice and I’m not saying it’s right to feel that way, but that’s just the way I feel God damn it.