Swearing Helps Reduce Pain, Study Says
It seems that your Mom may have been wrong when she told you not to use “dirty words” in public:
Scientists from Keele University found that letting forth a volley of foul language can have a powerful painkilling effect, especially for people who do not normally use expletives.
To test the theory, student volunteers placed their hands in a bucket of ice cold water while swearing repeatedly.
They then repeated the exercise but, instead of swearing, used a harmless phrase instead.
Researchers found that the students were able to keep their hands submerged in the icy water for longer when repeating the swear word – establishing a link between swearing and an increase in pain tolerance.
The research proves that swearing triggers not only an emotional response, but a physical one too, which may explain why the centuries-old practice of cursing developed and why it still persists today.
Dr Richard Stephens, who worked on the project, said: ”Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon.
”It taps into emotional brain centres and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain.
”Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists.”
If this study is right, then I’ve got to think that New York City is the happiest, most pain-free, place on the planet.
H/T: Joe Gandelman