News

Scientists Agree: Swearing is Awesome

iStockPhoto

Go ahead. Drop that F-bomb. You’ll be happier for it.

A new study finds that swearing can be good for you, according to the Daily Mail.

Of course video games were involved in the study. British researchers first had subjects recite swear words they knew. Then the participants played particularly aggressive games. After the game, the subjects were asked again for a cadre of curses. The average swelled from seven words pre-game to eight words post-game, according to the Daily Mail.

Advertisement—Continue Reading Below

Senior lecturer Dr Richard Stephens said: "The video games made people feel more aggressive so their language became more emotional and they swore. This explains swearing and makes it more acceptable.

"We want to use more taboo words when we are emotional. We grow up learning what these words are and using these words while we are emotional can help us to feel stronger.

'Some words are more taboo than others - but the effects can be greater, the stronger the word."

This is from the same research team that discovered swearing allows you to withstand pain for a longer period of time. Subjects who submerged their hand in ice water and swore through the pain last 40 seconds longer in the drink than those who remained curse-less, according to Scientific American. The claim spread all over the web, leading the Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” to try it out themselves.

That’s not all. A 2012 study, again done by a team of British researchers, showed that swearing at work can help you build better relationships, reported Business Insider.

Anne Kreamer at The Harvard Business Review says that swearing helped her in her first banking jobs and "granted [her] access to the kind of casual gossiping and information-trading upon which deals are sometimes built":

"Swearing," as one senior female attorney told [Kreamer], "gives others, men and women, reciprocal permission to let their hair down and feel comfortable sharing revelations." This approach ? swearing as an effective social tool that can enhance work relationships and allow women in particular to present an equal-to-men or even crypto-masculine identity ? has been documented by psychology and linguistics researchers.

Most of the recent studies about swearing come from British universities. That’s no surprise for a nation that creates and celebrates public television characters like Malcolm Tucker. (Warning: The link leads to an incredibly foul-mouthed video)

Share