A three-part study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science (I have a lifetime subscription! Screw the rate hikes!) purports to show that people who swear are generally more trustworthy. An international team of researchers, led by Gilad Feldman of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, analyzed swearing in society before coming to this conclusion.
How the bleep did they do this you might ask? According to London’s Daily Mail, the team studied 276 people to find out how- and how often- they curse. They asked those surveyed to list their “favorite” swear words and to “self-report” their everyday use of profanity, as well as the emotions they associate(d) with those cuss words. The test subjects were then asked to fill out a psychological survey to gauge their honesty…which helped determine how likely they were to lie.
The majority of respondents reported that their swearing was typically used to express negative emotions, like anger. The researchers also found that those who lied less wrote down a higher number of frequently used swear words.
But, could it be that those who were less honest simply didn’t admit to swearing as often as they actually did, whereas the more honest souls came clean? Hmmm. Experts think not, based on how the survey was designed and certain other tell-tale signs of prevarication.
I’ve always believed that frequent swearing, at least in public, was the sign of an undisciplined mind and a lack of vocabulary. Neither my father nor my mother swore much, and almost never in front of others they didn’t know well. In fact, my mother considered “damn” and “hell” to be serious epithets.
However, since honesty and truthfulness are things I value most, and ironically crucial to a blog of this nature, if you ask me if I believe the study results, I won’t hesitate in my answer.
Effing right I do!