F**k, Yeah: Science says people who swear a lot are honest

life | 11 January 2017 7:07 AM (UTC)
divya s
  • Science proves that if you curse a lot, you're honest and intelligent

If you’ve been admonished for having a potty mouth or having a limited vocabulary, well it’s time to feel vindicated.


Well, don’t be. Because science, b*tch*s!


Earlier, studies stated that those who swore frequently were considered to have a limited vocabulary coupled with low IQ.  However, latest studies, in what can be considered as giving the proverbial finger to earlier studies.


What’s more, these multiple studies have also stated that people who swore were more honest than their non-swear(y) counterparts.


“The authors studied 276 people in a lab, the social interactions of 73,789 people on Facebook and measured the average profanity scores against the integrity index for each US state. Their study, which will be published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, concluded “a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level and with higher integrity at the society level,”reports the Independent, according “to Researchers from the University of Cambridge, Maastricht University, Hong Kong university and Stanford.”


Quartz reports that, “We set out to provide an empirical answer to competing views regarding the relationship between profanity and honesty,” the researchers write. “In three studies, at both the individual and society level, we found that a higher rate of profanity use was associated with more honesty.”


The Daily Mail reports that Benjamin Bergen, a professor of cognitive sciences at UC San Diego, says, “It turns out that there are amazing things you can find out about how the mind works, how the brain works, people's human sociality just by looking at profanity. Research in 2014 revealed people who frequently swear are more likely to have a bigger vocabulary than their clean-tongued peers. A colourful tongue does not mean the talker is lazy or uneducated, the study published in the Language Sciences journal found. Instead, those who are more confident using taboo words are more articulate in other areas.”  “Profanity and honesty were found to be significantly and positively correlated, indicating that those who used more profanity were more honest in their Facebook status updates,” the researchers write.”



Experiment: Swear in 60 seconds

The study focussed on how participants across an age group of 18 – 22 were asked to swear as much as they could think of in 60 seconds, and asked to name animals in a minute.  The results showed that the more the person swore, the more animal names they knew.


In another experiment, they were asked to write down as many cuss words and animals beginning with the alphabet ‘A’.


In addition, swearing was also seen as an emotional coping mechanism.



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