Swearing finds a helpful use

July 13, 2009 10:33:02 PM PDT
Swearing might actually be able to help with pain.

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Researchers at Keele University in England asked volunteers to dunk their hand in a tub of ice cold water.

One group was asked to repeat the swear word of their choice and the other was asked to repeat a more friendly word instead.

In the end, the swearing group could tolerate the pain for an average of two minutes, but the group that kept their mouths clean could only last for about one minute and 15 seconds.

Scientists are not quite sure exactly why, but they note the volunteers using dirty words had higher heart rates -- meaning swearing might trigger the body's natural "fight or flight" response.

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