Here’s How Persuasive You Are When You Swear



This experiment examined the effects of judicious swearing on persuasion in a pro-attitudinal speech. Participants listened to one of three versions of a speech about lowering tuition that manipulated where the word “damn” appeared (beginning, end, or nowhere). The results showed that obscenity at the beginning or end of the speech significantly increased the persuasiveness of the speech and the perceived intensity of the speaker. Obscenity had no effect on speaker credibility.

Source: “Indecent influence: The positive effects of obscenity on persuasion” from Social Influence, Volume 1, Issue 2 June 2006 , pages 138 – 146

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