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Study Finds Link Between Profanity and Honesty (neurosciencenews.com) 283

A team of researchers from the Netherlands, the UK, the U.S. and Hong Kong report in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science that people who use profanity are less likely to be associated with lying and deception. Neuroscience News reports: Profanity is obscene language which, in some social settings is considered inappropriate and unacceptable. It often refers to language that contains sexual references, blasphemy or other vulgar terms. It's usually related to the expression of emotions such as anger, frustration or surprise. But profanity can also be used to entertain and win over audiences. As dishonesty and profanity are both considered deviant they are often viewed as evidence of low moral standards. On the other hand, profanity can be positively associated with honesty. It is often used to express unfiltered feelings and sincerity. The researchers cite the example of President-elect Donald Trump who used swear words in some of his speeches while campaigning in last year's U.S. election and was considered, by some, to be more genuine than his rivals. The international team of researchers set out to gauge people's views about this sort of language in a series of questionnaires which included interactions with social media users. In the first questionnaire 276 participants were asked to list their most commonly used and favorite swear words. They were also asked to rate their reasons for using these words and then took part in a lie test to determine whether they were being truthful or simply responding in the way they thought was socially acceptable. Those who wrote down a higher number of curse words were less likely to be lying. A second survey involved collecting data from 75,000 Facebook users to measure their use of swear words in their online social interactions. The research found that those who used more profanity were also more likely to use language patterns that have been shown in previous research to be related to honesty, such as using pronouns like "I" and "me."
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Study Finds Link Between Profanity and Honesty

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:37PM (#53680639)

    Those who are less likely to hold back what they are saying are more likely to not hold back what they are thinking. Big surprise.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:54PM (#53680717) Homepage Journal

      There's a flip side too: Those who need to lie can't alienate the marks with profanity. 'This is the fucking best goddamn precision bushings your asswipe money can buy, made by a troutfucking Swiss company" isn't going to make you salesman of the year.

      Lying is an art. Those best at it always tell the truth.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @12:12AM (#53680805)

        Where can I buy these precision bushings? I must have them.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Shit. Piss. Fuck. /insert Thaler and Witcher comments here.

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @05:53AM (#53681591)

        Lying only works if you tell the truth often enough that your lie is believed.

      • Yep, basically we're talking communication and language, and one can use them for deceit if they wished. Sure, someone that cusses might be more direct, but it's a short line from that to being part of a performance. Man, I'm so sick of these bullshit studies that are one part"duh" and two parts grotesque oversimplifications.

      • Is there a link between use of Emojis and desperately sad individuals? :D
    • Well, fuck me! Who woulda thought it?
    • by dszd0g ( 127522 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @03:20AM (#53681271) Homepage

      This study seems to be coming to a completely bogus non sequitur conclusion.

      You could use any question that people would be less than honest about. It would be like asking people how often they masturbate and then finding that people who said they masturbated more often were more honest in general. Instead of saying that people who were honest about how often they masturbate are more honest in general, the "researchers" here would conclude that people who masturbate more often are more honest...

      Any researchers that find Trump to be honest need their blood alcohol level examined during the research. A decent chunk of the country thought he was more honest than Clinton, but that is grading on quite the curve...

      • by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @03:43AM (#53681305)

        I'm not even sure the study is that good.

        It seems there are four groups:

        People who use profanity and admit it.
        People who don't use profanity and admit it.
        People who use profanity but don't admit it.
        People who don't use profanity but claim to.

        If we make the assumption that there's nobody in the last class and the other three classes are all equal sized then people who admit to using profanity will all be honest while only half of the people who claim to not use profanity will be honest.

        In fact, I cannot see any way that the people who admit to using profanity can possibly appear less honest than the people who do on this test.

        • I use profanity, you ... you ... mittens!

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          If we make the assumption that there's nobody in the last class and the other three classes are all equal sized...

          What on earth led you to assume that the other 3 groups are the same size? That seems far-fetched to me.

    • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @06:08AM (#53681657)

      Those who are less likely to hold back what they are saying are more likely to not hold back what they are thinking. Big surprise.

      A slightly subtle point that I think both you and the OP are missing is that honesty is not quite the same as naively or spontaneously expressing whatever goes through your head. I won't provide an example, but it is fully possible to be honest and considerate at the same time, for example, just like it is possible to express even severe anger and dissatisfaction without shouting or getting into a fight.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        I won't provide an example, but it is fully possible to be honest and considerate at the same time, for example, just like it is possible to express even severe anger and dissatisfaction without shouting or getting into a fight.

        Language is communication, you may think you're expressing it but does the recipient comprehend it? I've met the kind of people that seem to think if you're not shouting and cursing at them, you're not really angry. It's like they just hear "blahblahblah" but if you were really angry you wouldn't be calm and collected, so evidently you're not. There's no doubt that some people not only bubble wrap it but shy away from the truth in their quest to be considerate. See the Florence Foster Jenkins movie, she cou

    • which is not to say the two are closely correlated. There could be any number of people who are completely honest and never curse, but you would expect that of the people who do curse , there is a higher percentage of those who are not concerned about how other people react to their words. Of coarse my experience is that education also plays a factor because more educated people can generally find more effective ways of expressing themselves than by using profanity, perhaps only resorting to profanity whe

  • So. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:38PM (#53680643) Journal

    As dishonesty and profanity are both considered deviant they are often viewed as evidence of low moral standards.

    Purported links between honesty and profanity being what they are, it seems worthy of experimentation by scientific method to determine if deviant is at all relatively rare, and thus, deviant at all.

  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:43PM (#53680671)

    ... because I'm honest, but I can't use profanity because my Facebook Friends are actual friends, acquaintances, family and stuff.

    Twitter, using a fake name, however, is a great motherfucking outlet to compensate so I can say things like, "Fuck that pussy-grabbing baby-raping goddam whore mongering Trump and all of his goddam family."

    For real.

    • by DrYak ( 748999 )

      I can't use profanity because my Facebook Friends are actual friends, acquaintances, family and stuff.

      actual friends, family and stuff are also the people of whom you might not want to hurt feelings and opt to not outright tell everything which goes through your head
      ("you're ugly as shit", "you clothes/car/whatever is crap", "your idea is stupid and you should be burned in public in the town square for that", etc.)
      but where you would restrain yourself
      ("you've got personality", "well, it's original and has got some charm", "it's a surprising idea").

      So again they are the people to which you would "lie" (in a

  • by TheOuterLinux ( 4778741 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:43PM (#53680673)
    A lot of Slashdotters are really honest folks. Good to know. ðY
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And kernel project leaders.

    • I have no idea what you're talking about!

    • by tinkerton ( 199273 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @05:40AM (#53681555)

      There is some sense in that, in that online one can be honest in relative safety. The downside is that an awful lot of people think that because they can shout down people with obscenities there must be some value in what they're saying.

      Personally I like the intermediate level of posting under a fixed username. It becomes a bit of an alternate persona rather than a license to act as an asshole. The alternate persona also has a reputation it cares about.

    • What the fuck are you talking about?

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:49PM (#53680697) Homepage
    in computer science the application of expletives has also been scientifically correlated. For example:
    Ruby Programming: profanity causes Ruby to slowly reveal itself as nothing more than an elaborate and desparate cry for help. It is in fact not a programming language at all.
    Git: A bell curve of profanity and blasphemy can pinpoint the exact number of phrases required to successfully identify the team member who broke the build.
    iptables: cannot be run without profanity and is in fact compiled into the code itself
    Email: while its long been understood that profanity is a critical component of all email infrastructure, it may be curious to know that science has found Exchange servers in particular often default to routing mail based on the deafening curses against god almighty uttered by the admin.
    • I have noticed much profanity-laden language by my family members staring at computers - and they're not even admins. Joking aside, the study is bullshit science (not real) and should not have gotten past the reviewers.
  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:50PM (#53680699) Homepage

    No fucking kidding.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @11:54PM (#53680723) Journal

    n/t

  • Trump honest? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @12:03AM (#53680769)

    Simply saying "some people think he's honest" is not an objective measure of honesty.

    In trump's case he regularly says the opposite of what he says the week month years before, so he's not honest by any measure. Google [trump contradicts trump] and you'll get so so many examples.

    I did a financial check on his election declaration and found none of the numbers matched real accounts released elsewhere. And often the lies are screaming fraud (e.g. He claims Scottish golf course makes millions in profit, has $300 million investment, yet UK accounts show its loss making and has half that investment. Investors money is siphoned off to HQ, borrowing on many projects is 120%+ of the assets best assessed value and income isn't able to pay the interest). I even ran a few revPar numbers to estimate/test the plausibility of the accounts he's hiding and many were 10x exaggerated. This is Madoff level fraud.

    Then there's the Pee memos.
    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

    e.g. p15, 10th August 2016, "Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn) and funding their recent visits to Moscow.

    Who is Michael Flynn? In August he was a nobody, yet Putin was grooming him. Trump didn't pick Michael Flynn until November 18th, months *after* that date. How would Kremlin know Trump would pick Flynn if Kremlin wasn't involved in the picking?

    Time says Trump is a liar. Either because he himself says the opposite later, or because it reveals actions that could not be explained by Trump being honest. Like the Kremlin picking a pro-Kremlin General 3 months before Trump picks him.

    • Objective fraud (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @12:32AM (#53680877)

      Replying to my own thread with an example. You can objectively determine Trump is a liar, simply by comparing the incompatible numbers claimed in multiple places:

      http://therealdeal.com/la/2016/11/04/property-tax-appeals-may-show-trumps-financial-disclosures-to-be-overstated/

      "At 40 Wall Street, for example, Trump wrote in his book “Never Give Up” that the building makes approximately $20 million a year in rent and was worth $500 million in 2008, the year the book was published....On financial disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission, the Republican presidential candidate listed the property’s income at more than $5 million, the highest category on the form....But the forms he filed with the city Tax Commission to appeal 40 Wall Street’s property taxes show that after mortgage payments and other costs, the building’s cash flow in 2014 was $104,000. During the previous three years, in the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, it had negative cash flow of $5.5 million."

      Now you might say "well he made a mistake" or "his understanding of the numbers has improved....", or the latest numbers not yet revealed show a total turnaounrd etc. but this is the norm with Trump numbers. They're all made up.

      I notice that when I crunch fraud numbers, the fraudsters always use a simple multiplier, and the real numbers concealed as best possible. These two factors suggest the fraud is deliberate. The combination of concealment of real numbers, and the fraudulant public numbers always being a multiplier of the real numbers. Mistakes are random, you're as likely to find an overestimate as an underestimate in mistakes. Not so with fraud.

      I think it's difficult for fraudsters to keep track of the lies they've told, so they use the real numbers adjusted by a simple multipler. Usually it's a x10 or x100, x1000 or x2 to keep it simple to convert in their head from real to fraud number.

      And to hide the truth they hide the real numbers (like not revealing your tax returns in an election).

      Trump exhibits both traits, suggesting he's aware of his fraud.

      • Trump likes to brag about his wealth and his deals, no doubt doubt about that, and his "co-author" (who did all the writing) knows that spinning it even bigger than what Trump said sells more books. So yeah the numbers in book, written in 2007 based on what Trump said in 2006, were likely exaggerated, or at least "best case" gross margin.

        Seven years later, when appealing a tax assessment in 2014, his accountant would have done the opposite - figured every possible deduction, including travel costs for Trum

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        You can objectively determine Trump is a liar, simply by comparing the incompatible numbers claimed in multiple places

        No, you can't. For an objective determination that he's a liar, you also have to show intent, or you have just shown inconsistencies. Those could be due to a number of causes, including but not limited to mental disease or deficiencies, wild guesses, changing his mind, obtaining new information, or indeed lying.
        But to conclude he's a liar is to beg the question.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          you also have to show intent

          He's not being convicted.
          He's being described.

          If he's told a lot of incredibly obvious lies he's a liar no matter what reason it was for.
          For example, Mark Twain called himself a liar despite doing it to entertain while making sure he didn't actually fool anybody beyond the end of whatever tall tail was told.
          Trump lies. A lot. Whether he calls it making a deal, conning a rube or locker room talk or whatever it's still a lie no matter what reason it was for. How else did he tur

        • I can show you intent:
          http://www.politico.com/story/... [politico.com]

          pants on fire.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Orgasmatron ( 8103 )

        First, you know that the pee memos were made up by 4chan, right? And that story's inclusion in a document (the one you linked) written by the fake news company behind all of the "1 simple trick to get you to click this link" ads does not exactly say good things about their sources or verification?

        And second...

        the building makes approximately $20 million a year in rent and was worth $500 million in 2008 ... the building's cash flow in 2014 was $104,000. During the previous three years, in the fallout of the

    • Re:Trump honest? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Puff_Of_Hot_Air ( 995689 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @03:05AM (#53681235)

      some people think he's honest

      and

      he's not honest by any measure

      are not in conflict. Trump uses profanity to appear honest; and as people associate profanity with honesty they attribute "straight-forward" and "honest" to his persona (I'm not American or pro or anti Trump, just an interested outside observer). Bullshit is an art, and he's better at it than most.

      • Re:Trump honest? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @11:09AM (#53682599)

        Trump uses profanity to appear honest; and as people associate profanity with honesty they attribute "straight-forward" and "honest" to his persona (I'm not American or pro or anti Trump, just an interested outside observer). Bullshit is an art, and he's better at it than most.

        He has spent rather a lot of time training for this in the entertainment industry (almost a decade and a half). Which reminds me of something fellow entertainer George Burns was fond of saying:

        The key to success is sincerity. If you can fake that you've got it made.

    • The problem is deception and honesty are a lot more complicated thing than we make it out to be. The most nuance you typically see is a distinction between white lies and stereotypically 'bad' self-serving lies, but the rabbit hole goes a lot deeper than that.

      In trump's case he regularly says the opposite of what he says the week month years before, so he's not honest by any measure.

      Trump certainly isn't a particularly honest person overall, but this is a really, REALLY bad example. The biggest under-acknowledged source of untruth in the world is self-deception. Most people are constantly engaged in a convoluted enterprise of unco

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Get it straight, Trump is not dishonest. To be dishonest he'd have to ascertain what is the truth. In Trump's case, he cannot lie because of three other personality traits, (1) he cannot recall what he said before, (2) what comes out of his mouth isn't something he's thought about, it merely exists ephemerally for the moment while he figures it can get him attention, (3) he picks up scraps of data (not information) like a dirty snowball rolling down a muddy hill. This is a man who thinks Championship Wrestl

    • "In August he was a nobody"

      This is the sort of statement that illustrates your point ... is nothing more than a political screed.

      Michael Flynn served as the 18th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, from July 22, 2012, to August 7, 2014.

      It's really not astonishingly shocking that a new president would select a former head of the DIA as National Security adviser, PARTICULARLY when most of the upper-level Washington insiders that might be ahead of him for the job signed one or more "NEVER TRUMP" lette

  • Now adjust that study for intelligence and vocabulary. Profanity is the simplest form of emphasis, used by those lacking the vocabulary to express themselves with more meaningful and less crude words.

    Especially "fuck," where George Carlin was right. If you have limited intelligence and vocabulary, it can be the universal adjective/verb/noun.
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Now adjust that study for intelligence and vocabulary. Profanity is the simplest form of emphasis, used by those lacking the vocabulary to express themselves with more meaningful and less crude words.

      You have obviously never spoken to an Italian, or you'd know that gesticulation is the simplest form of emphasis. Here, it is <em>.

  • by Vegan Cyclist ( 1650427 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @12:11AM (#53680801) Homepage

    Consider people who say 'darn, frick', etc.. We all know what they're saying, and they're really lying to themselves by 'editing' how they're expressing themselves. Those who would express the actual terms they mean are demonstrating a higher degree of honesty in expression.

    • Re:Seems plausible (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @01:38AM (#53681053)

      "Honesty" can mean many things. Someone who has no verbal impulse control may be honest but it's not necessarily a good sign of character either. Such as when a person is drunk they are more likely to be honest because they lack the inhibition or capability of phrasing their words properly, and similarly drunk people do swear more. Honest also means one doesn't cheat or steal or take advantage of others, etc, which is not the same thing as blurting out the truth without thinking. For example, I'm sure the mugger in the alley will use quite a lot of profanity without being honest.

      • Re:Seems plausible (Score:4, Insightful)

        by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @06:15AM (#53681681) Journal

        For example, I'm sure the mugger in the alley will use quite a lot of profanity without being honest.

        That mugger is likely more honest than the suited banker that manipulated the system in his own favor, causing millions to lose their homes.

      • Such as when a person is drunk they are more likely to be honest because they lack the inhibition or capability of phrasing their words properly, and similarly drunk people do swear more.

        By "properly" here you must mean "carefully", or even "deceptively", since you are not applying modifiers to "honest" such as "apparently". But someone becoming intoxicated and specifically not being able to select the word they are looking for is probably at least as likely to produce unintended statements which are inaccurate representations of their internal mental state as they are to reveal some secret working of their thought processes, if not moreso.

        In vino veritas would not have any truth if the me

    • Consider people who say 'darn, frick', etc.. We all know what they're saying, and they're really lying to themselves by 'editing' how they're expressing themselves.

      There are various reasons people avoid profanity, but one of the primary reasons is out of politeness or concern for not offending those around them. Some might consider failure to adhere to politeness conventions to be "honesty in expression," but it could also simply be a social convention. I reflexively say "Thank you" to the toll-booth person who accepts my toll, but I'm not actually grateful to them. It's just a social convention and reflex to thank people who provide a service to you. Similarly, I

    • [Corrected post] (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @03:30AM (#53681287)

      Apologies for the repeated post, but I accidentally did an incorrect "cut-and-paste" right before hitting "submit," which resulted in repeating the words of much of the post several times.

      Consider people who say 'darn, frick', etc.. We all know what they're saying, and they're really lying to themselves by 'editing' how they're expressing themselves.

      There are various reasons people avoid profanity, but one of the primary reasons is out of politeness or concern for not offending those around them. Some might consider failure to adhere to politeness conventions to be "honesty in expression," but it could also simply be a social convention. I reflexively say "Thank you" to the toll-booth person who accepts my toll, but I'm not actually grateful to them. It's just a social convention and reflex to thank people who provide a service to you. Similarly, I walk around saying "How are you?" to people as I pass them in the hallway or whatever, but it's well-known that most people aren't seriously asking that question in more than a cursory "standard greeting" sense.

      Are all of these people "lying" or not being "honest"? Or are they simply falling social convention, which also dictates that profanity is inappropriate in various social situations?

      My distinction here is not a minor one, because desirability to adhere to social convention is actually arguably what this study measured, rather than "honesty" or whatever. There were three different components to this study. All have some problems.

      (1) The first used Amazon Mechanical Turk to get people to answer a bunch of personality questions. There was no actual assessment of whether people were ACTUALLY lying. instead, they were given a series of questions "using the Lie subscale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised short scale," However, despite its name, this test isn't actually used to determine whether people are prone to lie in general! This subscale is used, as the study notes, for social desirability responding.

      That is, in the context of a personality test, this set of questions is used to fish out the people who are likely choosing answers based a little more on their "idealized" personality traits or what they might think would be "likeable," rather than being more realistic in their responses. Rather than a sort of "lie detector" test, it's more a test of how much a person wants to represent themselves as socially desirable. It has questions like, "If you say you will do something, do you always keep your promise no matter how inconvenient it might be?" If you answer "yes," the test assumes you to be a LIAR. But of course it has no way of knowing whether you are lying -- it rather assumes if you have more idealistic norms about social behavior that you're more likely to less realistic in your own self-reporting for personality questions.

      Anyhow, this is a TERRIBLE proxy for "dishonesty" generally. It basically is measuring how close people want to try to adhere to social norms. And avoiding profanity in many situations is also trying to adhere to social norms. So it's basically a tautology that they found a correlation in the first study.

      (2) Okay, on to the next one. Here, again, they didn't actually determine whether people were telling falsehoods. Rather, they looked at a bunch of Facebook messages and statistically analyzed how many times people used 1st and 3rd person pronouns, motion verbs, and anxiety words. They claim that this is a good way to tell how "honest" people are. Except the study they use as a benchmark to calibrate the frequency of these linguistic categories (this study [sagepub.com]) involved people giving detailed responses to prompts, both telling the truth and lying. The average words for the samples varied from 124 words for one category (people expressing a position on abortion while videotaped) up to 529 words (were people expressed an opinio

      • You're making a dichotomy where none exists. "Social conventions" are obviously, through several different mechanisms, the number one generator of lies.
      • I reflexively say "Thank you" to the toll-booth person who accepts my toll, but I'm not actually grateful to them. It's just a social convention and reflex to thank people who provide a service to you.

        Well, stop it. You're cheapening the value of thanks.

        Similarly, I walk around saying "How are you?" to people as I pass them in the hallway or whatever, but it's well-known that most people aren't seriously asking that question in more than a cursory "standard greeting" sense.

        It strikes me as normal and productive to be concerned with the well-being of people around you, even if for no other reason than that what is affecting them might also affect you. That is, even if you don't give one tenth of one shit about someone, it is still rational to ask how they are doing.

        How many Facebook posts do you see with at least 124 words in them, let alone over 500 words?

        Most of them that have enough words to be worth examining. My friends are as apt to post tracts as one-liners.

        In other words, you'd have a much better predictor if you knew where roughly somebody was from in the country and what states are around them rather than using these "integrity" ranking scores.

        I do not need science to tell me not to trust anyone

  • Honestly, fuck the fucking fuckers.
  • Death to Newspeak. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plopez ( 54068 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @12:52AM (#53680921) Journal

    They are not "challenges" or "opportunities", they're fucking problems. It's not "cost restructuring" it's firing people over the age of 40 because it looks good on a spreadsheet.
    In addition:
    "value proposition" -> will people pay for the shit you're selling
    "sharing economy" -> slave labor
    "Reagonomics" -> fucking laissez faire economics that failed in the 1800s and won't fucking work now
    "innovation" -> financial shell games by a bunch of thieving pig fucking bastards
    "market efficiency" -> stealing others labor
    "release 3.0" -> release 1.0 (if you're lucky) of a steaming pile of shit software that should never have been release
    "Software Engineer" -> fucking code monkey
    "Spin Meister" -> this is an interesting term. It seems to be related to the German work "spinnen" meaning to lie or tell a tall tale. In other words a fucking master liar.

    Feel free to add a few more or your favorite examples of Newspeak.

  • by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @12:55AM (#53680933)

    Honesty in the sense of always telling the truth is no virtue. Just because you tell the truth doesn't mean you are a good person. It just means you aren't too worried about consequences .. either out of stupidity or because you possess a large amount of power.

    • Some people try to cleverly figure out what to say to each person about each situation, coming up with different lies and half-truths. Sometimes that works well for them, sometimes it blows up in their face. It's a bit of a crap shoot.

      Other people figure honesty is the best *policy*, a long-term principle you stick to in almost all situations, knowing that in the long term, it works well. *Being* a liar doesn't work as well as being an honest person, they figure (and they're not wrong).

      In my particular cas

    • Honesty in the sense of always telling the truth is no virtue. Just because you tell the truth doesn't mean you are a good person.

      I've been on this Earth for almost five decades, and my experience as well as research show that people who tell the truth more often, are also more honest, sharing, giving and fair in their behavior.

      It just means you aren't too worried about consequences .. either out of stupidity or because you possess a large amount of power.

      Most people who achieved some kind of position of power (politicians and CEOs) or wealth, have done so with a degree of lying and manipulation. Being able to tell a bold-faced lie without batting an eyelid gives you a huge advantage in life. This is related to the fact that CEOs are four times more likely to be

    • Just because you tell the truth doesn't mean you are a good person.

      It also doesn't mean you are a bad person. And if you find yourself frequently in situations where not lying has "consequences" your life is probably kind of fucked up (and/or you must be a lawyer).

  • This is not a study about honesty, it's a study about whether or not people are honest about their use of profanity. (The second sub-test, about pronoun usage, seems dubious at best.)
  • by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @12:59AM (#53680951) Homepage Journal
    The researchers cite the example of President-elect Donald Trump who used swear words in some of his speeches while campaigning in last year's U.S. election and was considered, by some, to be more genuine than his rivals.

    Donald John Trump, PeOTUS, has told more verified lies in his short political career than many with 30 or 40 years in the pubic eye.

    If you voted for him, I'm glad you got your choice. But, hey, really? DJT? Wow.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      Won't be long before those Trump voters figured out that Trump lied about every campaign promise he ever made. Having Mexico pay for the wall? Nope. Locking up Hillary? Oh, hell no. Draining the swamp? Not with crony capitalists in key government positions.
    • by moeinvt ( 851793 )

      Trump certainly said things that were wrong, but did he lie, or was he mostly just running his mouth on topics about which he didn't have much of a clue?

      The article talks about him being more "genuine" than his rivals. There's a difference between saying something that's not true when you know it's not true(telling a lie) and making a false statement when you are "genuinely" uninformed.

  • Assuming you believe lie detector results, it sounds like they were just measuring how honest the participants were about how many naughty words they new. And from that perspective it goes without saying that there would be a correlation between being honest and reporting more words.

    Also, as regards holding back on the actual use of naughty words (which, BTW, they didn't measure), they need to consider the difference between "dishonesty" and "manners".

  • Then your research results are likely to be skewed from the beginning. As if the Facebook audience is representative for society in the first place. *facepalm*
  • In NJ profanity is used in place of spaces between words
  • No Shit Sherlock!
  • The research found that those who used more profanity were also more likely to use language patterns that have been shown in previous research to be related to honesty, such as using pronouns like "I" and "me."

    Well fuck me, I never heard such bullshit. I know these fucktards pull shit out of their assholes and fling at real researchers it while crying "me. me. me, I get all the research money. Fucking nonsense, I think these piece of shit researchers need to be fired. Listen to me people.
  • Swearing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @05:57AM (#53681603) Homepage

    People who don't swear scare the fucking life out of me.

    Honestly.

    There's a difference between swearing AT someone or IN FRONT OF someone. You never swear AT a child. You can swear in front of one. (And if the parents have half a brain, they are told not to repeat it but I guarantee the primmest of young girls know all the swearwords by their teenage year if they want to use them.)

    Swearing is an expression of emotion, for the most part. There are people who put it in just because it feels big (you can spot those people even into adulthood), but mostly it expresses the scale of emotion behind what they are saying.

    Something is stupid.
    Something is FUCKING stupid.

    They are entirely different things.

    But people who deliberately DO NOT swear or - worse - do not tolerate swearing in their presence at all, they scare me. There's something repressive about that. I work in big posh schools and I guarantee you that even the most pretentious and correcting headmaster will swear at times, and the staffroom is full of expletives.

    Swearing is the emoticon of language. It provides emphasis, scale and scope to something that could otherwise be misinterpreted. And it's better to insert a swear word than actually raise your voice, I would posit.

    As such, people who swear are giving you not only their demand/request/reasoning but expressing how important it is to them too. That's honesty, alright.

    • Re:Swearing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday January 17, 2017 @10:08AM (#53682303) Homepage Journal

      People who don't swear scare the fucking life out of me.

      I don't, except in circumstances where I'm deliberately trying to shock, or at least surprise. It's not a matter of "repression", it's that profanity is not part of my vocabulary. You assume that people who don't swear are "repressing" or "censoring" themselves, but that assumption presumes that they actually do swear in their internal dialogue, but then don't say it out loud. But I don't use profanity in my internal dialogue, either, though I suppose I have some stand-in words (dang, etc.) which fill more or less the same purpose.

      To put it another way, a good friend of mine like to say "If you don't scream FUCK when you hit your thumb with a hammer, your head will explode." My response is "When I hit my thumb with a hammer, I'm in way too much pain to go to the effort of remembering to scream FUCK." He's assuming that the curse word will be naturally present and that if you don't scream it it's because you're holding it back. For me, the curse word just isn't there, so what happens when I hit my thumb is a wordless howl of pain. No repression involved, and my head remains intact.

      In addition, I think profanity is generally counterproductive. Rather than saying that something is "fucking stupid", why not spend two more seconds thinking, and articulate why it's stupid, or what about it is stupid? Your phrase accomplishes exactly nothing other than to make people understand that you're angry. It conveys no other information and does nothing to rectify the stupidity. Also, it's pretty common that when people bother to think about what exactly it is that's making them mad, they discover that, in fact, it's not stupid and that they just hadn't thought the whole situation through.

      Finally, I find that the fact that I hardly ever use profanity makes it a really powerful tool on the rare occasions I do choose to use it. Those who use it constantly have basically nowhere to go when the situation deserves a really strong statement.

      • It's good to hear of someone else that doesn't swear. I don't either. My wife, on the other hand, grew up around hockey players. Apparently, they say things that would make sailors blush. She has no qualms about letting the curse words fly. I don't mind her cursing and she doesn't mind my lack of it.

    • I never swear. I'm not sure why, but I've never felt the need to swear. I'll admit to swearing once - to shock a close friend of mine. I said "the C word" out of nowhere to go for maximum effect. Probably shouldn't have done it while he was driving, we almost went off the road. As far as the honesty scale goes, I'm honest to a fault. I have a lot of trouble lying. It stresses me out considerably and the truth will often burst out of my mouth before I can stop it.

  • The following story is about how increasing activity in the amygdala makes mice violent. Well, the amygdala is also the part of the brain that is responsible for outbursts of profanity. Perhaps the amygdala is honest to a fault? It will cuss you out, and then it will cut you.

THEGODDESSOFTHENETHASTWISTINGFINGERSANDHERVOICEISLIKEAJAVELININTHENIGHTDUDE

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