Current Event

In: Science

Submitted By spp3377
Words 323
Pages 2
Current Event Report 2 – Shreyas Pradhan
There is a new research, which proves that handshakes might have a different reason for its existence: transmission of chemical signals. The study was conducted in Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science and it found that handshake is a way for people to sniff molecules. 280 people were used in this experiment – they were greeted either with a handshake or without one. The experiment also required use of hidden cameras which were used to see how many times people touched their respective faces after shaking someone’s hand. People who were greeted with a handshake had a significantly higher rate of touching their face with their right hand, however this was limited to when they shook hands with a person from the same sex. Additionally, the experiment required the subjects to have nasal catheters so that airflow could be measured. With the use of this technology, they concluded that the subjects were generally sniffing when they touched their face with their right hand. The research argues that the handshake has evolved from being a conscious effort to sample and sniff chemicals to an unconscious effort to sample and sniff chemicals, however, with a social meaning.
I believe that this is a truly amazing discovery. In layman terms, one cannot even think for other reasons for the existence of the handshake. However, this discovery proves otherwise. It is weird thinking about it though – we unconsciously smell other people’s chemicals. It seems like as the human race started becoming more civilized, they stopped directly sniffing other people (for reasons unknown) and used handshake as a mechanism to cope with it. This will definitely change my mindset for handshakes and this fact is going to pop up in my mind whenever I shake someone’s hand. A question regarding this research is, why is this is only limited to handshakes between...