I wish they gave a source for the relationship between using these pronouns and telling the truth.
Also, just looking at facebook users introduces a bloody selection bias.
I wish they gave a source for the relationship between using these pronouns and telling the truth.
Here's what the paper says:
"The honesty of the status updates written by the participants was assessed
following the approach introduced by Newman, Pennebaker, Berry, and Richards
(2003) using LIWC. Their analyses showed that liars use fewer first-person
pronouns (e.g., I, me), fewer third-person pronouns (e.g., she, their), fewer
exclusive words (e.g., but, exclude), more motion verbs (e.g., arrive, go),
and more negative words (e.g., worried, fearful; Newman, Pennebaker, Berry, &
Their sample pool covers better than 25% of the human population.
If nothing else, it's worth considering the demographics: within the USA, women use Facebook at a higher rate than men; people with some college education use Facebook at a higher rate than either college graduates or adults who've never been to college; Facebook use rate is roughly negatively correlated with income level; use of Facebook is negatively correlated with age (http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-20...). So the leftover US population skews male and slightly higher-income than the Facebook population. And globally, Facebook use is correlated with national wealth (minus some outliers). So there's clearly a sampling bias, and that's worth understanding.
That said, whether the results would be any different is hard (impossible?) to say without actually trying a different sampling methodology, and I suspect the results from this study are valid, sampling bias notwithstanding.
I'd say two things, which are related:
1) Profanity itself is a form of crude honestly - in any remotely genteel social setting - 'profanity' is usually politically costly. Would you swear in an interview? No.
Ok - there are some times when 'people in power' can swear as a form of strength/power projection - but that aside ...
People who 'control' their behaviour mostly to 'be polite' - will use that communication control to gain political favour in every little social interaction. Some do it aggressively.
We all know this kind of person.
So - the 'swearers' are just using less 'filter', and so 'what you see' is really more likely their actual thoughts - 'no filter applied'.
2) If you step outside of professional circles and hang out with 'working class types' (I don't mean to be crude with generalizations) - like guys on a construction crew - you'll find that these people swear sometimes. I'm originally from a small town, a lot of working class types there - and if there are only guys around, you'll hear some cussing. These people generally don't have 'learned filters' that most professionals would use to communicate - because there is no reason why they should have developed those filters. They're just 'honest' by nature.
I've always kind of felt this way.
'Smooth communicators' are the one's you have to worry about :)
Yes. And if someone held it against me it's unlikely to be a place I want to work.
In many professional settings (e.g. when in front of a client), where you may not be familiar with the social norms of those you're interacting with, the ability to effectively code switch is critical. I see that as part of basic professional judgement.
So, absolutely, with your co-workers, swear away if that's part of the culture.
But in a setting with someone unfamiliar? Like, say, an interview? Sorry buddy, but there's a lot of shops where that'll count against you.
If you're hiring me for an engineering position and you can't handle some harmless swearing, then you're really not sharing in my engineering priorities. Here it's just pointless culture policing and power playing.
It's basic respect and professionalism.
Now, from your perspective, you might think you're just testing the employer. That is, if they'll put up with your swearing in the interview, then it might be a better value fit. And that may be true.
I'm simply suggesting that you may end up disqualified for positions where you might otherwise fit, not because swearing itself is deemed inappropriate, but because, in that specific setting, to the interviewer it suggests poor judgement.
I do realize that judgement goes both ways. I'm not going to blame someone for being foolish, but I will blame them for hiding it when they could instead learn from it.
"Would you swear in an interview? No."
You were not the person who replied this way. My reading, at this point, is that your answer would be "maybe, but only if my read if the circumstances lead me to feel it was justified".
And on this you and I actually agree!
This is actually pretty much the same approach I take all the time, with everyone.
Some more anecdata: I realize that when I am in the company of strangers or acquaintances, a bit of casual swearing goes a long way to create a relaxed, open environment. I've had some pretty candid conversations with otherwise very serious people that I otherwise would have been very nervous or apprehensive about.
You could easily say that first line like you're joking about a friend, and the latter with the cold malice of hatred.
> Sarah, first off, I don't have that many tools at hand. Secondly, I simply don't believe in being polite or politically correct. And you can point at all those cultural factors where some cultures are not happy with confrontation (and feel free to make it about gender too—I think that's almost entirely cultural too). And please bring up "cultural sensitivity" while at it. And I'll give you back that same "cultural sensitivity". Please be sensitive to _my_ culture too.
> Because if you want me to "act professional," I can tell you that I'm not interested. I'm sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The same way I'm not going to start wearing ties, I'm also not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because THAT is what "acting professionally" results in: people resort to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their normal urges in unnatural ways.
My opinion is that people who are not flexible enough to accept few fucks in the conversation are generally those that I don't want to work with - they are usually borring to me and often don't convey impact of the problem with appropriate strength.
Political correctness is such paradoxical bullshit. Ofcourse, as in any domain, people who are extreme in such behavior are generally harmful but that should not be argument against anything.
Besides being more honest, recent study found that profane people have more diverse vocabulary (https://goo.gl/GIEhKD) and are probably perceived as being more intelligent.
Source: University of Cambridge.
Writing in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science a team of researchers from the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and Hong Kong
"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 favourite 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”. The Facebook users were recruited from across the United States and their responses highlight the differing views to profanity that exist between different geographical areas. For example, those in the north-eastern states (such as Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and New York) were more likely to swear whereas people were less likely to in the southern states (South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi)."
Doesn't strike me as a terribly strong result.
Does this make Samuel L. Jackson's characters the most honest? He sure speaks how he feels when in those roles.
I fundamentally distrust people who don't swear. To me it has always signalled priggishness, timidity and conformity. People who see swearing as a sign of poor education or a limited vocabulary are, in my experience, invariably petty, snobbish and bigoted.
If I want an honest opinion, I'll ask someone who isn't afraid to speak plainly. If I need someone to help me out in a difficult situation, I'll call on someone who swears like a wounded pirate - they're not going to be afraid to get their hands dirty.
We are sacks of meat that fuck and piss and shit. We always will be. If you want to pretend otherwise then good luck to you, but I don't trust you for a second.
One of my previous superiors sweared a lot, but when there was something to clarify the conversation took another route. I could ask him a question and then he would freeze and not even a sound would come out of his mouth. The silence could take such a while that I would start to think that maybe he haven't heared me. Then he would slowly and steadly respond - usually not needing to stop midsentence to reformulate (as I usually do). Those calm responses usually did not contain swearing. There where a few colleagues that would just not stop talking until he would respond and then he would tell them to shut up.
These kinds of after-thought rationalizations can always work both ways.
If you find yourself never surprised by any finding, you are probably doing this a lot.
Only people who are 'learned communicators' have the amount of self control to both 'not swear' but also use their communication skills to curry favour, which may involve manipulating the truth subtly or egregiously.
About 50% of the time, the 'raw truth' is a little rugged, and smart communicators learn how to 'change the tone' of information so that it's more palatable.
I don't think it's a matter of 'energy' at all, it's just behaviour.
Also consider this one:
Germans are known for being 'more direct' - and to an 'Anglo' person, their directness can sometimes be interpreted as 'blunt' (You've heard the saying 'honest to a fault'?), sometimes ruffling feathers. The German may perceive Anglo 'redirection' as somewhat deceptive.
But in German - there is usually only 'one way' to say something - the language is very strict, and you usually don't have a lot of wiggle room. So - aside from any cultural issues - language itself really shapes the way information is communicated.
And when I do swear, it's not for lack of self control. It's because I'm making a stand about what my priorities are. Which are usually that the subject of the discussion is far more important than the manner in which it is discussed or the personal, fleeting discomfort of any bystanders or participants.
Pretty much everyone knows they aren't supposed to swear at a priest. Many of the ones that do anyway are being transgressive.
But some people are far and away better communicators than others.
Far and away.
It's the big soft skill that a lot of 'inside only people' don't have, and often don't recognize or value in 'outside facing people' at the company :).
Next thing you know, evil will be good and good will be evil. Oh, wait a sec...
You also conflate anger and profanity. Which is clearly a load of shit. They are distinct things.
I doubt it is cut and dried, but I'm interested in the research. And I distrust it as much because it confirms my general beliefs. And that should be a red flag for everyone.
Your comment is anecdotal proof that profanity doesn't have jack shit to do with anger.
I think of it as periodic regularization. Though, easier said than done.
This is somewhat self fulfilling and prone to confirmation bias, though. For me, it is just as often for shock/surprise. Probably more so just plain frustration.
What does intrigue me is when people have substitution words they often use. Unless you believe in magic, I don't understand the logic.