NeuroScene

Swearing and the Human Pain Response

Even the most pious among us will often resort to using profanity whenever we stub our toe or hammer our thumb in lieu of the nail.  And we tend to do this for very scientific reasons. Researchers are just beginning to uncover the link between emotionally charged words – or swearing – and our perception of pain.

In this podcast, we speak with Dr. Richard Stephens of the Keele University School of Psychology.  Dr. Stephens has been examining the connection between swearing and pain for a number of years, and his team recently published the results of a study indicating that so-called “curse words” might be instrumental in helping us alleviate physical pain.

Be sure to join in as we talk about the role of emotionally-charged language in our pain response and how emotions such as anger, aggression, and the human fight-or-flight response might be involved.

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