[lg policy] Researchers find swearing has health benefits

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Wed Jul 15 22:49:20 UTC 2009

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Researchers find swearing has health benefits. If you're in pain,  
curse twice and call me in the morning
People who swear when they’re hurt feel less pain than those who  
don’t. At least that’s the conclusion of a team of psychologists from  
England’s Keele University.

The researchers asked 67 undergraduates to stick their hands in ice  
water while repeating a curse word of their choice, and then to do it  
again while repeating a non-swear word they had also chosen (Richard  
Stephens, John Atkins and Andrew Kingston, “Swearing as a response to  
pain,” NeuroReport 20 [Aug. 5, 2009]: 1056-60). Swearers were able to  
keep their hands in the 5 degree C. water longer than non-swearers  
(though one participant did have to drop out of the study out because  
the “curse word” the student picked wasn’t actually a curse word).

Read the rest of this post on the Web of Language:    http://tinyurl.com/weblang

Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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