Swearing can be good for you
BY 鱼遨游 from 21st Century
Published 2011-12-02

Swearing can provide effective relief from pain - but not if you swear all the time, researchers have found.

A study found releasing the odd expletive helped people cope with discomfort in the short-term but the frequency of swearing played an important role.

Researchers at Keele University's School of Psychology recruited 71 undergraduates who were asked to carry out a cold-water challenge while either repeating a swear word or a non-swear word.

The students put their hand in room temperature water for three minutes to act as a control before plunging it into cold 5C water for as long as they could while repeating their word.

The level of perceived pain together with a change in heart rate were compared while people swore or said their non-swear word.

The group was also asked about how much they swore in daily life and this was analysed together with their level of pain tolerance.

Writing in the Journal of Pain, the authors concluded: “Swearing increased pain tolerance and heart rate compared with not swearing.”

“Moreover, the higher the daily swearing frequency, the less was the benefit for pain tolerance when swearing, compared with when not swearing.”

Dr Richard Stephens, a senior lecturer in psychology at Keele, said: “Swearing is a very emotive form of language and our findings suggest that using swear words moderation can be an effective and readily available short-term pain reliever.”

“However, if you're used to swearing all the time, our research suggests you won't get the same effect.”

(Translator & Editor: 21英语 Aaron)