New Study Finds Swearing Associated With Honesty

in psychology •  2 years ago

In a new two-part study that was just recently published on Medical Daily, it was found that the frequency of swearing that an individual exhibits, might be strongly associated with their honesty. Someone having a bad habit of swearing might actually be a sign of their integrity, researchers suggest. Swearing might be offensive to many people and not the type of language that you would find yourself using in a formal setting, but the positive attribute of that habit is that it might indicate a deep level of honesty.

According to the study, it is more likely that people are going to swear in an effort to try and express themselves, and the more that they swear it is likely that the more honest you will find them to be. Researchers found that honest individuals will be more likely to use profanity because it's better to help them to express their feelings.

The team, consisting of international researchers, interviewed at least 276 participants and asked them about their swearing habits. Along with questions about their swearing habits they were also asked about how honest they were in various situations. They also looked at tens of thousands of Facebook status updates, analyzing both honesty and profanity. Honesty was seen again and again to be strongly associated with swearing.

Other research in this area has also indicated that swearing might be a sign of increased intelligence, and one study in 2016 found that people who had higher levels of verbal intelligence were often seen to use more swear words.

There are still many people around today who will look at you like an uneducated drunken sailor if they hear you constantly cussing. But according to this research on swearing, it's likely that they'd be wrong on their judgements and assumptions. Just because someone swears doesn't mean that they are uneducated, mean, impolite, or dishonest.

Sometimes There Just Isn't Another Word For It

Swearing helps many people to be able to communicate more effectively, because when we talk to other people, we aren't only trying to get a message across but we often want to convey emotion as well. Swearing is also cathartic for many people, and therefore it allows them to communicate rather than resorting to physical violence when they are frustrated. Swearing is strongly linked with emotion for many people, so it's no wonder that it would be the most common option that people choose when finding a way to try and express themselves.

There has been extensive research that's already taken place, to try and investigate the relationship between swearing and the brain. It's just one area, of many, that scientists will continue to explore for years to come.

Good Housekeeping
CBS Houston


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I'm must be an honest person


Damn right you are!

I'll tell you the fucking truth!


Hot damn is not profanity in my book. Now @richardcrill, he's got the idea.


True story. haha Wasn't sure how far @doitvoluntary wanted to go.

so we have to be weary of people who has never done so. :-)

This 5 min hilarious video further proves swearing helps.


That was hilarious!

Thank fuck!

huh, so i guess i shouldn't try to curtail my swearing.

Love it, re-steemed.

May cover this in a YouTube video, because I swear a lot in my videos due to the fact I am exposing the sickest most evil people to ever exist and sometimes there are no other words to use.

Well I don't really believe the study, I always thought people who feel inferior swears a lot to try and add weight to what the say.
Normally people also swear when angry, when angry you don't always think very well, and normally you say things you regret latter - where is the intelligence in this?


Nope some of the smartest people i know have the worst potty mouths. I call them sentence enhancers. Real conversation,
Me, "Doc wtf?"
Doc, " I'm not sure wtf, but it looks fucked"
Both laugh. Fuck was just another word, in the bubble. I think it kept us sane.

There are a lot of "mights" in that study.
I've read stuff like this before and have to admit that it makes me feel defensive. (maybe I should work on that ... ha ha)
I never swear -- only a few times in my entire life.
I consider myself honest. I speak my mind and talk about controversial things that others avoid or don't want to hear.
I don't understand why some people think that swearing is the only way to get people to listen to you, or somehow proves that you are more honest.

I've had someone suggest that because I don't swear it means that I am denying or ignoring all the evil in the world! What??? Excuse me, but I know how to use language to get my message across. I'm always fighting bullies and rooting for the underdog. It seems strange to me that some people think this way and it seems that some put down people who don't swear or imply that we are less honest of less intelligent.

I'm absolutely NOT saying that those who swear are dishonest.
Go ahead and swear as frequently as you like in your conversations.
I'm not judging those who swear (unless you are swearing directly at me ... ha ha)
But please in return don't judge me for not swearing.

I really don't believe that there is any connection between swearing or lack of swearing and honesty.

One of our more common sayings in the Psych- ER from the nursing staff and MDs is, "What the FUCK!" at least 10 times each staff per night. One Resident doc used to lose it every night at around 3 am, like a super tourettes explosion of profanity. He was the most brilliant of the Resident docs.


lol man sounds like u got some good stories

"There's only one bad word: Taxes. If any other word is good enough for sailors, it's good enough for you."

That's some good fucking shit right there!