The smell of fear is real and it’s contagious, study claims

The Boston Globe:

“These findings are contrary to the commonly accepted assumption that human communication runs exclusively via language or visual channels,” said Gün Semin and colleagues from Utrecht University in the Netherlands in a statement. In new research published Monday in the journal Psychological Science, researchers tested the sweaty armpits of 10 men while they watched films such as The Shining or gross-out scenes from MTV’s television series Jackass.

Next, the researchers asked 36 women to take a visual search test while they unknowingly inhaled the chemosignals of the men’s sweat. Their facial expressions were recorded and their eye movements were tracked as they completed the task. When sniffing the “fear sweat,” the women opened their eyes widely in a fearful expression.

Read the whole story: The Boston Globe

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