At the beginning of the year, everyone likes to wipe the slate clean and rid themselves of bad habits. Surprisingly, if you want to stop using profanity; I would think twice.
“Profanity is often used to express one’s genuine feelings, and could, therefore, be negatively related to dishonesty.”
However, I learned that using profanity is a good thing and a good character trait. Yes, you heard me, saying f$ck is not such a bad thing. If you drop the F-bomb a lot, I have some good news for you; you tend to be more honest than people who don’t.
A recent study was published in “Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS)” by scientists from the University of Cambridge who surveyed 276 people about the curse words they use and how often they say and write them. The test measured the participants’ honesty with questions about blaming others, cheating at games and taking advantage of people. No surprise to me, the folks that used crafty words (profanity) the most were the individuals who lied the least.
Information and studies like these would have saved me from being grounded or punished for using profanity as a kid. I would have been able to tell my mother that I was merely being truthful and I had a study to back it up. In our society, individuals who have a potty mouth are “widely perceived as violating moral and social codes, and thus deemed untrustworthy and potentially antisocial and dishonest.
“We found a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level, and with higher integrity at the society level.”
However, the study also explains that profanity can sometimes be “interpreted as antisocial, harmful, and abusive―if, for example, intended to harm or convey aggression and hostile emotions.”
We’ve all met someone who is dishonest and who will rationalize their dishonesty. In the study the University of Cambridge chose to “operationalize dishonesty as a generalized personal inclination to obscure the truth in natural, everyday life situations. The most common type of such dishonesty is represented by “white lies” or “social lies” that people tell themselves or others to appear more desirable or positive.”
I used to curse like a sailor, but my mother once told me that people with no education or a limited vocabulary are the ones who curse. I stopped swearing. Well, that’s a lie!
“Profanity can be positively associated with honesty. It is often used to express one’s unfiltered feelings (e.g. anger, frustration) and sincerity. Innocent suspects, for example, are more likely to use swear words than guilty suspects when denying accusations. Accordingly, people perceive testimonies containing swear words as more credible.”
Although, I disagree with my mother, I will say using profanity has helped me express myself; it clears my mind, and helps me release negative thoughts and energy.
Personally, I found the study interesting and worth browsing: Click Here