Maledictology (from Latin maledicere, "to say [something] (dicere) bad (male)" and Greek logia, "study of") is a branch of psychology that does research into cursing and swearing. It is influenced by American psychologist Timothy Jay (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) and the philologist and researcher in swearwords Reinhold Aman (California). They assume that swearing is part of human life and can even act as a passive self-defense, since it prevents palpable argument.[citation needed]