Study Says Swearing A Lot is a Sign of Intelligence
Dec 18, 2015 08:23
Do you have a potty mouth? If you do, you might want to read this. According to a study, you might actually be quite intelligent. Language Sciences published some new research that confirms swearing is a sign of verbal intelligence.
Psychologists at Marist College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts found that people who use more curse words may actually have stronger language skills overall than those who don’t.
They pitted two popular theories against each other:
“A folk assumption about colloquial speech is that taboo words are used because speakers cannot find better words with which to express themselves: because speakers lack vocabulary. A competing possibility is that fluency is fluency regardless of subject matter—that there is no reason to propose a difference in lexicon size and ease of access for taboo as opposed to emotionally neutral words.”
To test which one was correct, study participants were given 60 seconds to rattle off as many bad words as they could. They were then asked to do the same for a more kid-friendly subject, such as types of food. This is known as the Controlled Oral Word Association Test.
If those who saw cursing as intelligent were correct, participants rattling off profane words with ease should have a harder time coming up with neutral words, but that didn’t happen at all.
Instead, those who listed the most curse words also excelled in other subjects, showing a connection between swearing and an overall larger vocabulary.
Researchers also determined that “speakers who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately.”
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