‘Gallows’ or dark humour? What is it? How does it slantingly crawl in or out, leaving a grease of slime, staining some souls?

When there are painful events, unpleasant or serious matters that get dipped in iced flavoring that is satirically punched, it is considered ‘gallows’ humour. Disease, death, war and crime dipped in a tinge of light laughs can turn the not very funny realms into a hilarious paradox of fun. These thought processes are difficult to approach directly in their extreme forms.

Should you hold back laughing?

When laughing at this there may be a sense of guilt. ‘Is there something wrong with me?’

Actually, studies indicate that an appreciating of dark humour may indicate intelligence and emotional stability.

What is wrong with me?” The answer is “nothing”. Some believe it’s a way we have of defining things that scare us, but the study came to the conclusion that your love of gallows humour may simply mean you’re very intelligent and emotionally stable.

Is it amusing if a woman walks into her home finding the dangling body of her husband who hung himself with a tile and complains “Oh no, again! Why the green tie and blue suit!

Was it amusing? Do you feel a bit sheepish for laughing at such a joke? Quit feeling guilty.

The study

A recent study by Ulrike Willinger, a neurologist from the University of Vienna, reports that appreciating dark humour indicates intelligence and emotional adjustment. It reveals an information-processing task that is complex and can be facilitated with high intelligence inhibited by a bad mood.

The journal ‘Cognitive Processing’ published a study that features 156 adults that were presented with 12 cartoons featuring ‘gallows’ humour.  These cartoons were focused on sinister subjects like disease, death, handicap, deformity or war with a tinge of bitter amusement.

Participants took standard tests that measured attention in verbal or non-verbal forms with aggression levels and moods. Those that appreciated the cartoons the most were those with high levels of intelligence, well-educated and displayed the lowest levels of aggression or mood disturbances.

Those that did not get or appreciate the humour had average levels of intelligence and were highly disturbed with a high level of aggression.

Sick humour is about treating nasty content like playful fiction.

It turns out that those that understand and enjoy such cartoons are intelligent and the least troubled and aggressive beings. At least, this is what the particular study suggests.

If you are smart enough to manage your emotions, get ready for some dark jokes…

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Greg Dahlen

    I suppose dark humor could teach us to increase our awareness and be aware even when we encounter horrible things. Like if you encountered a suicide you might be inclined to focus only on the sheer fact of the suicide. But it would still be good when encountering an awful thing to notice peripheral details, like what clothes a suicide is wearing?
    Then, if you can notice peripheral details, it might soothe the horror of the suicide a little, where you know that as bad as it is you’ll get through it.

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