It would appear that sailors are the most honest among us.
In a new study, researchers from the Universities of Hong Kong, Stanford, Cambridge and Maastricht have found that those who are prone to using profane language also tend to be the most honest and sincere. They say “profanity” can include sexual references, vulgarity, offensive slang and anything else that might be deemed socially inappropriate.
The researchers started by asking a group of 276 participants about their cursing tendencies, as well as how honest they considered themselves to be in varying situations. They found that the most honest people also happened to have the greatest penchant for swearing. They also discovered that those people were far more likely to use cursing to express themselves, rather than using it in a harmful way against others.
The researchers then tested these findings by analyzing the status updates of more than 73,000 Facebook users, measuring for honesty and profanity (past studies have shown that liars tend to use third-person pronouns and more negative words on social media.) Once again, they found that honest people were more likely to express themselves with the use of profane language.
Their next step involved using previous data to compare the integrity levels of U.S. states with how frequently they cuss, where they reached the same conclusion.
The researchers believe that since swearing is frequently used when expressing one’s feelings, people who cuss on the regular tend to portray themselves more genuinely.
h/t The Independent.