Earlier today, during one of my many home improvement projects ("experiments" may be a more appropriate term) I struck my thumb with a hammer.
Without thinking, I released a reflexive string of profanity which quite possibly made my dog blush and certainly caused my neighbors to stand up and take notice. However, by the time the last four-letter word escaped my lips, the pain had faded, and in fact was almost gone.
Almost everyone can remember this happening or has at least observed it a few times.
That swearing after an injury can ease pain seems to be a commonly held belief (at least in America), but is it really more effective than just screaming, or simply remaining silent?
Is there evidence that swearing can either lessen the pain of acute injuries or our perception of it? Has this been studied?