Why do we swear? Turns out it’s because it helps ease the pain. It’s true, and now you can say it’s been scientifically proven.
According to a new study by researchers in Britain, saying the F-word (or any other swear word for that matter) can actually help reduce pain levels. On top of that, it looks like we use curse words by sheer instinct.
Music selection to enjoy with this post: Hot Dog (Limp Bizkit)
In the study, Britain’s Keele University had 64 college students stick their hands in a bucket of ice water and endure the pain for as long as they could. One group was allowed to swear continuously while the other group was asked to repeat a non-expletive control word.
Guess what? The students that were allowed to swear were able to withstand the discomfort longer and their perception of the intensity of the pain was reduced. Curse words help you handle pain better!
“Swearing increases your pain tolerance,” says Richard Stephens, a psychologist and lead author of the study, which was published this week in NeuroReport. The initial hypothesis of the study was that swearing was just a “maladaptive behavior” that only made things worse, but the exact opposite was proven.
“The No. 1 priority is to make the pain go away. If [swearing] made the pain worse, that would be illogical,” Stephens says, adding that you hardly need a scientific study to bear out the theory.
Exactly my point. How much did they spend on this study? I could have saved them several thousand dollars by just hitting my thumb with a hammer…or maybe by watching that Rebecca Black video a few hundred times.
- Swear hard to relieve pain (news.bioscholar.com)
- How To F*** The Pain Away (psychworld.com)
- WTF? Study Shows Swearing Reduces Pain (newsfeed.time.com)