Swearing triggers intense brain activity, like being punched in the face, researchers say

I'm sure many of you have felt like you've been hit on the head with a nasty swear word. A study that recorded brain activity by subjecting subjects to insults against themselves and others found that the brains of those who were verbally abused showed a more intense response than when they were exposed to positive words.

Frontiers | Do People Get Used to Insulting Language?


Spoken Instruments Stir Up More Brain Activity Than Compliments And Linger For Longer, Too : ScienceAlert

A research team from Utrecht University and Leiden University in the Netherlands investigated the effects of offensive words that we see and hear on a daily basis in our social life. We conducted an experiment to measure the brain waves of the subject while showing a word.

The experiment involved 79 Dutch women aged 18 to 30 with an average age of 20.9, and each participant was presented with three phrases that were assumed to be the words of three fictitious men. The first are insults such as 'Linda is the worst' and 'Paula is a liar' and the second are compliments such as 'Linda is great' and 'Paula is an angel'. And the third was a neutral statement such as 'Linda is Dutch' and 'Paula is a student'.

In order to reproduce a situation in which people repeatedly come into contact with insulting words, the research team repeated insults using the participant's name and insults using another person's name 90 times each, and measured the brain waves at that time. responses to repeated compliments and neutral language. In addition, the participants were informed of the contents of the experiment in advance as informed consent, and they were able to give up at any time.

The results of this experiment showed that insults, whether directed at oneself or others, elicited a quicker and greater response than words such as compliments, and that the effects did not abate over time. It was confirmed that it continued for a long time.

Regarding the results, the research team said, 'Insults are'mini-slaps of words'and have been shown to continue to attract attention in a manner that is robust and unaffected by repetition.'

In this study, the situation in which insults and compliments were heard intensively was very different from real life, and the participants were only women, and there were insults such as 'bitch' that were received differently depending on gender. The research team points out that caution is also required.

On top of that, the research team said in the paper, ``Insults go against the universal moral imperative that people should not be hurt.'' Seeing something happen is a very specific event, and so is verbal insult,' he emphasized, emphasizing that the negative effects of insults have been clearly scientifically demonstrated.

in Science, Posted by log1l_ks