TECH

The More You Swear, The More Honest You Are, Say Scientists

We knew it.

18/01/2017 10:21 GMT

Your parents might not like you having a potty mouth, but they should be grateful that you express yourself predominantly in expletives because it means you are more honest. 

A study from the University of Cambridge has found what swearers have long professed to be true - we’re not being vulgar, we’re just not beating about the bush when it comes to expressing how we feel. 

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Long associated with coarseness, anger and vulgarity, it seems the swearers among us are actually less likely to be associated with lying and deception.

How’s that for low moral standards?

The research took part in two different stages. The first, which looked at 276 participants, asked people their favourite and most commonly used swear words. They were also asked their reasoning for choosing these words.

They then took part in a lie detector test to determine whether they were being truthful or just responding in a way they deemed socially acceptable.

Surprise surprise, those who professed to using few swear words in day-to-day life were actually found to be telling porkies.

The second stage of the psychological testing looked at a larger pool of 75,000 people on Facebook and used similar methods, finding the same result – those who swore more frequently used other language patterns that have previously been found to denote honesty.

Co-author Dr David Stilwell said: “The relationship between profanity and dishonesty is a tricky one. Swearing is often inappropriate but it can also be evidence that someone is telling you their honest opinion.

“Just as they aren’t filtering their language to be more palatable, they’re also not filtering their views.”

So feel free to show this to your boss when you accidentally drop an f-bomb in your next big meeting.