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January 16, 2019, 06:19:26 PM
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Latest Member: FloraCarma Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Off Topic Discussion  |  Weird News Stories  |  Swearing Makes Pain More Tolerable « previous next »
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Author Topic: Swearing Makes Pain More Tolerable  (Read 4328 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« on: July 27, 2009, 09:27:22 AM »

That muttered curse word that reflexively comes out when you stub your toe could actually make it easier to bear the throbbing pain, a new study suggests.

Swearing is a common response to pain, but no previous research has connected the uttering of an expletive to the actual physical experience of pain.

"Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon," said Richard Stephens of Keele University in England and one of the authors of the new study. "It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain."

Stephens and his fellow Keele researchers John Atkins and Andrew Kingston sought to test how swearing would affect an individual's tolerance to pain. Because swearing often has an exaggerating effect that can overstate the severity of pain, the team thought that swearing would lessen a person's tolerance.

As it turned out, the opposite seems to be true.

The researchers enlisted 64 undergraduate volunteers and had them submerge their hand in a tub of ice water for as long as possible while repeating a swear word of their choice. The experiment was then repeated with the volunteer repeating a more common word that they would use to describe a table.

Contrary to what the researcher expected, the volunteers kept their hands submerged longer while repeating the swear word.

The researchers think that the increase in pain tolerance occurs because swearing triggers the body's natural "fight-or-flight" response. Stephens and his colleagues suggest that swearing may increase aggression (seen in accelerated heart rates), which downplays weakness to appear stronger or more macho.

"Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists," Stephens said.

The results of the study are detailed in the Aug. 5 issue of the journal NeuroReport


I dont know how accurate this study is and I dont care. Next time I stub my toe im going to let the profanity fly..oh, I always did that. oh well, at least now I can say its helping.

There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far~ ruminations
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 10:06:36 AM »

I taught myself to swear in Latin so that I don't get in trouble if I hurt myself at school in front of the kiddoes . . .

"Sugit facientor womitas!"  is one of my favorites.

"That sucks and it makes me want to throw up!"

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Mr. DS
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009, 07:56:08 PM »

It does and I'm living proof.  If I stub my toe the string of vulgarities will continue until the pain is gone. 

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B-Movie Kraken

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Shake The Faith

« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 01:22:57 PM »

It is true. I noticed that when I'm angry and I swear I tense up and then there's a release after. I find every day I'm awake and breathing to be painful, so I swear pretty much non-stop now.  TeddyR

Bustin' makes me feel good !
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 02:16:01 PM »


I'm very unsweary...

I'm very restrained unless time I feel the pain, I'll think of Trevor in his underwear and the obscenities should fly out Wink


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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2009, 02:32:31 AM »

next time I feel the pain, I'll think of Trevor in his underwear and the obscenities should fly out Wink

 BounceGiggle BounceGiggle TeddyR

Oh, so it was you I heard screaming and swearing the other day? OK.  Wink
B-Movie Kraken

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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2009, 06:58:01 AM »

I find swearing makes a LOT of things more tolerable.  Interesting they did a study on it though.  I wonder what the grant application looked like?  And what other projects did it beat out in its bid for funding?

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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2009, 06:02:01 PM »

f**kin' damn straight!  Thumbup

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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 03:01:54 AM »

My church minister Reverend Fraser Paterson, once said in a sermon that if you are stumbling around in the dark, looking for the light switch and you stub your toe or bark your shin on furniture, you shouldn't swear at all. Rather grit your teeth, try to smile and say "Oh dear me."  TeddyR

When I hurt myself, the number of times I use the word sh*t would be enough to fertilize the entire Kalahari Desert.  Twirling
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