The old adage "sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you", simply is not true, according to researchers.
Psychologists found memories of painful emotional experiences linger far longer than those involving physical pain.
They quizzed volunteers about painful events over the previous five years.
Writing in the journal Psychological Science, they said evolutionary brain changes which allow us to work better in groups or societies could be key.
The volunteers were asked to write about painful experiences, both physical and emotional, then given a difficult mental test shortly afterwards.
The principle was that the more painful the recalled experience, the less well the person would perform in the tests.
Test scores were consistently higher in those recalling physical rather than "social" pain.
linger：逗留，徘徊。例句：Davis lingered for a moment in the bar.（戴維斯在酒吧逗留了一會兒。）
recall：回想起。例句：Dick recalls having been in Paris to study music when he was a child.（狄克憶起小時候曾經到巴黎學音樂。）
consistently：前後一致地，形容詞為consistent。例句：His behavior is consistent with his teaching.（他的行為與其教誨相符。）