Only Genuine Swear Words Work
These findings come from psychologists at Keele University who tested the impact of swear words by measuring the pain threshold of 92 participants who agreed to plunge their hands in icy water and keep them there for as long as possible. The idea was to see if made-up swear words such as ‘twizpipe’ and ‘fouch’ helped the participants deal with the pain better than conventional ones. Study leader Richard Stephens, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in psychology, said the study was the first to assess whether novel swear words have any pain-relieving effect. They didn’t, but traditional swear words increased pain tolerance by 33 percent.
Richard Stephens and Olly Robertson, “Swearing as a Response to Pain: Assessing Hypoalgesic Effects of Novel “Swear” Words”, Frontiers in Psychology, April 30, 2020, doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00723
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