DENVER — That co-worker who curses like a sailor might be the best person to go to when you need to hear the cold, hard truth.
In a study titled Frankly, We Do Give a Damn, researchers found people who swear the most are also the least likely to tell a lie.
“We found a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty,” researchers said in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. “Profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level and with higher integrity at the society level.”
It might seem counter-intuitive to some.
“Profanity can sometimes be interpreted as antisocial, harmful, and abusive. … It also violates the moral foundations of purity and the common norm for speech,” researchers said.
That might lead you to think people who curse are more likely to lie or engage in other “antisocial behaviors that violate norms and morality.” But researchers found it was just the opposite.
“They are not filtering their language so they are probably also not putting their stories about what is going on through similar filters which might turn them into untruths,” study co-author David Stillwell told the Daily Mail.
A second, larger experiment with nearly 74,000 Facebook users backed up the results.