Do words of the fuck, cock and shit variety feature heavily in your lexicon? Do you find yourself watching what you say in class or at the office ’cause you know, better than anyone, that you’re an absolute potty-mouth? Well, me too. And now we can be proud of being exactly that – a potty-mouth – ’cause guess what, it means we’re more trustworthy people.
According to Quartz, a study conducted by the Department of Work and Psychology in Maastricht University in the Netherlands conclusively revealed that if you’re prone to cussing every now and then, it only means you’re straightforward and generally authentic at the individual as well as societal level.
The research found consistent results pointing towards a positive relationship between profanity and honesty. And not only do these results apply to individuals, but to communities as a whole too.
The age-old debate about the psychological implications of cussing revolves around how if you cuss often, you reject society’s definition of taboo and are therefore more likely to flout other norms as well. On the other hand, cussing has long been positively associated with honesty in increasingly pressured situations.
This study involved almost 300 subjects that reported in detail how often they curse, what words they gravitate towards, and what emotions they associate with what profanity. Following this, they were examined on openness and reliability.
Apart from this, the research also included a close look at about 70,000 social media interactions across the globe, assessing the presence of profanity in status updates against other measurements of honesty online.
“Profanity and honesty were found to be significantly and positively correlated, indicating that those who used more profanity were more honest in their Facebook status updates.”
The researchers do caution against attributing all potty-mouths with a heightened credibility, as the study’s examination of dishonesty remained limited to conscious creation of a false reality, but the issue of ethics is a different one altogether.
So don’t go believing everything that’s surrounded with a few fucks and shits either.