If you're someone who enjoys a good curse, this might be of interest: According to research, there's at least one thing that you have in common with people who swear a lot: You're honest. Or at least, more honest than people who don't swear a lot. Who knew that a fondness for strong language could reveal something so positive?
Although it's true that swearing might be off-limits for you in certain situations depending on your profession or personal life; it might even be grounds for some serious disciplinary action. But for what it's worth we are free to express ourselves however we like; indeed, we might swear for many reasons: Out of habit, because we want to get a certain reaction or communicate a certain feeling, or even just because we like it. No matter the reason, scientists and psychologists have long wondered about what traits unite people who curse a lot, and now we have enough material to really dig into the good stuff.
According to recent research forthcoming in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, one major common trait between people who swear a lot is that they are honest. That's right: People who curse often are less deceptive in both personal and group settings than people who don't curse often. In fact, the research suggests that people who swear often actually have more social integrity than those who do not.
This recent study, called Frankly, we do give a damn:The relationship between profanity and honesty, analyzed study subjects in three separate rounds to gather their data. First, the researchers examined profanity behavior and lying on a scale in a lab setting; next, they conducted a linguistic analysis of real-life social interactions on Faceboo; and lastly, the researchers analyzed profanity and integrity indexes for the aggregate level of U.S. states —that is, they compared their subject's responses to the national responses.
And guess what, swearers? You're honest! You have social integrity! But why? What does all this mean? Well, the study suggests that people who curse a lot use profanities to express their genuine and sincere feelings, whether those are good or bad. This means that people who curse a lot may be less filtered or less apt to lie or subvert their true thoughts and feelings. If you're someone who swears a lot and has been described as "brutally honest" or "100 percent real talk," you might be nodding your head right now.
Interestingly, this is just one piece of a lot of really cool research that's been conducted recently about how and why people use profanities, and what the habit might suggest about people across the board.
For example, academic researchers from Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts examined the correlation between swearing and someone's vocabulary. Ever heard the idea that people who swear a lot swear because they lack a good vocabulary? These researchers put that idea to rest, as their findings suggest that people who curse a lot actually have high verbal abilities.
Researchers have also discovered that people who curse a lot may have higher pain tolerances than those who don't. Interestingly, perhaps because of social conditioning, this study also suggests that people who curse a lot are perceived as stronger by those around them.
And last but certainly not least, psychologists have discovered that people who swear often tend to form close bonds with one another. So if you and your BFF or SO tend to swear from morning till night and both feel good about it, it might actually be helping your close bond flourish.
So go ahead, gang. Swear your heart — when appropriate, of course!