The Smell of Fear – New Research

We all know that babies learn about the people and world around them from watching and imitating what they see.  Well, apparently we continue this into adulthood.

A new study from researchers at Utrecht University finds that we can smell fear and disgust and when we do it can trigger the same emotion in our brains.  The study’s findings can be found in the journal Psychological Science.

The New York Daily News reports that this isn’t the first research to claim that humans can smell fear.  So how did they find this information out? 

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.

They then asked 36 women to take a visual search test that recorded their facial expressions and eye movements as they inhaled  chemosignals of the men’s sweat.  So what did the researchers find? 

When sniffing the “fear sweat,” the women opened their eyes widely in a fearful expression.  When smelling sweat from men who were disgusted, the women grimaced as if in disgust.

 So Science is pointing to the fact that we are all connected and we affect the people around us in ways we did not previously know.  

So next time your in a crowded post office, waiting for important news in a room full of people, or in a classroom filled with rambunctious middle schoolers, try to calm yourself and bare a smile no matter how slight.

 Remember other’s can SMELL FEAR and it’s contagious !

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