Thanks to the insane, apparently never-ending, and incredibly nasty presidential election currently bombarding the nation with every possible variety of incivility, it's not exactly a hard moment to make the case that rudeness has consequences.

A glance at your television is enough to tell you it's exhausting and demoralizing and crowds out more constructive dialogue. But that's all anecdotal evidence. Is there any scientific research on the exact costs of rudeness, particularly at work?

Why, yes, there is. At a Google Re:Work event, Georgetown business professor Christine Porath explained her work on the effects of not only being the victim of rudeness but also simply witnessing it as well. And it's so much worse than you imagined (even after sitting through the last two debates).

Can you spot the gorilla?

Have you ever seen the invisible gorilla video? If not, take a minute to watch it below:

Did you spot the gorilla-suited individual sauntering through the frame? Don't feel bad if you didn't. In the original experiment (before everyone knew to look for the man in the ape suit), nearly half of participants were so taken with counting basketball passes they failed to spot the gorilla in the room.

Which means we're pretty distractible animals to start with. But, according to Porath, rudeness makes this problem much worse. Her research shows that even just reading words associated with jerk-like behavior, such as interrupt, obnoxious, and bother, caused volunteers to perform five times worse on the gorilla test afterwards.

Being exposed to rudeness is terrible for creativity as well. After witnessing incivility, study participants performed 28 percent less well on a common test of creativity that asks subjects to brainstorm as many uses for a brick as possible. (Though Porath notes witnessing rude behavior does inspire some particularly creative responses, such as "weigh down a body" or "bash in someone's nose.")

The list of horrible mental effects of rudeness goes on: Those exposed to words associated with rudeness did 17 percent worse on a test of information recall and failed to spot 43 percent more math errors. In short, rudeness makes us dumber. Much dumber.

Or as Porath puts it, "Incivility robs cognitive resources, hijacking performance and creativity, so even if you want to perform at your best, you can't."

Rudeness (in the wrong place) can literally kill you

What's the most terrifying evidence that the "fog of rudeness" prevents peak mental functioning? Porath points to a study of rudeness in medical settings that found that 71 percent of doctors and nurses tie rudeness to medical errors. An incredible 27 percent even said bad behavior led to patients' deaths. In the wrong setting, rudeness can literally kill you.

The takeaway is pretty clear (though I'm betting I'll have more success convincing entrepreneurs of this than presidential candidates). Rudeness is toxic to your work environment and flat out makes your people functionally less intelligent. So be civil yourself, and certainly don't tolerate anyone spreading rudeness around the office.

Want more details of Porath's work? Here's her complete talk at the Google event: