How do curse words affect the way we talk?
Plus, the perks of being agreeable.
“We don't have to wait until the end of life in order to recognize and act on the power of connection.” – Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States
Oh sh**t! How do expletives affect the way we talk? In a study, people read made-up words that were spelled to either rhyme with a swear word, like “kuck,” or rhyme with a neutral word, like “wug.” The researchers explained that when we read, we usually sound out words based on other words we know. For example, wug looks (and probably sounds) like rug or tug. But when people read words that seemed to rhyme with a profanity, it tripped them up – they made more pronunciation errors when reading those words out loud. This was especially true for people who don’t like to swear. “An aversion to swearing can pull you away from pronouncing a word,” said study co-author Sarah Kucker, whose surname inspired the study. The study concluded that taboo language has “top-down influences” on reading and pronunciation of novel words. Kucker added, “We’re calling this the Kucker Effect.”
Let’s agree to agree. We've told you about the dangers of being too agreeable, but there are perks of agreeableness, too. In a meta-analysis, researchers found that agreeableness has more benefits than we might think. They found a handful of desirable qualities associated with agreeable people. For example, agreeable people were motivated to cultivate friendships and maintain good relationships with other people. Agreeableness was also associated with contentment, teamwork, and self-transcendence. As it turns out, agreeableness might be the key to success.
Weak ties. As you go about your day, you interact with family, friends and coworkers. These relationships can help you feel cared for and connected. But what if there’s a whole category of people in your life whose impact is overlooked? Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST: RELATIONSHIPS 2.0
Nov 14: Vivek Murthy was a newly-minted doctor when he realized his training hadn't prepared him for one of the most frequent health issues he saw in the examination room: loneliness. Now the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek explains why he considers loneliness a matter of public health, and how we can all strengthen our social ties.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Nov 15: Jamie Spurway left his hometown in Scotland for a semester abroad in California in 1998. When he got there, he had trouble getting to his final destination — until a friendly stranger offered him help.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alice came across a lion and a unicorn in a forest of forgetfulness. Those two are strange beings. The lion lies every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and the other days he tells the truth. The unicorn lies on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The other days of the week he tells the truth. “Yesterday I was lying,” the lion told Alice. “So was I,” said the unicorn. What day is it?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
The answer: One. Since 1=5, 5=1.
FROM THE TWITTERATI…
A MOMENT OF JOY
To infinity and beyond…
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