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Do you ever find yourself using colorful language and high-voltage words whenever you bump your little toe into the bedroom table? British psychologists Richard Stephens and Claudia Umland probably do and they have set out to find out whether cursing had any effect on the perception of pain.

It may sound like an odd research endeavor but surprisingly, Stephens and Umland's results suggest that cursing may effectively alleviate pain perception. Of particular interest to the common speech offenders though, it seems that the more often a person swears, the lesser the effect on pain. You may therefore want to keep the use of that quick, natural, and somehow satisfying painkiller for emergency situations only!

You can read the abstract and download the original paper following this link. Dr Erard owns a copy of the full paper, don't hesitate to borrow it from him if you want to know about the details of this investigation.

To get an idea of the experimental protocol, watch this short clip of the guys at MythBusters actually replicating the experiment:

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