Love to pollute the atmosphere with your filthy sailor mouth? We have good news—you may be more honest.
Researchers in the US have found that people who swear openly and easily are more likely to be honest. In the first part of their study, they interviewed 276 across the US recruited on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Part of their interview had to do with swearing and the subjects favourite curse words (we hope they learned some new ones), and the second part was designed to determine the subject’s honesty by asking them questions to do with game-playing, blame-placing, and other stuff to help determine trustworthiness.
The second part of the study analysed the status updates of almost 75,000 Facebook users, which sounds like an exercise that might unleash a bit of swearing. The team sought out linguistic indicators of deception (negative words, use of third person pronouns, and other linguistic quirks) and found a correlation between users with a lot of swearing in their status updates and honesty status updates.
David Stillwell, co-author of the study, told the Daily Mail, “There are two ways of looking at it. You might think if someone is swearing a lot, this is a negative social behaviour seen as a bad thing to do, so if someone swears they are probably a bad person as well. On the other hand, they are not filtering their language so they are probably also not putting their stories about what is going on through similar filters which might turn them into untruths.”
We’ll curse to that, David.