Swearing associated with honesty, say scientists

Impoliteness and vulgarity are, according to recent recearch, a sign of honesty. Moreover, "the more an individual swears, the more honest they are likely to be."

They first asked a group of 276 participants about their swearing habits, as well as how honest they were in different situations, and found the most honest people were also the heaviest swearers.

They also found that people were much more likely to use swearing as a way to express themselves and their emotions, rather than in an anti-social or harmful way towards others.

In a second study the researchers tested these findings in a more real-life setting, by analysing the status updates of more than 73,000 Facebook users.

They measured for honesty (previous research shows liars prefer to use third-person pronouns than first-person ones and more negative words) and profanity.

Again, they found that honest people were more likely to use profane language.

They ranked swearing and integrity by U.S. state. The sweariest state, Connecticut (52%), was also the second-most most honest (86%). Polite Utah (26%) scored a relatively untrustworthy 65%.

Most-honest Iowa (87%), though, could only maintain a middling swear rate of 40%. Still, the habitual liars of Georgia (49% integrity) sure talk sweet (36% swears).

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