People are starting to itch in a tense and nervous environment in order to “tell” others about your anxiety and prevent possible conflicts, according to a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Visible signs of anxiety can develop among primates as a way to reduce the level of aggression within groups of their own kind. Showing others that you care, can benefit, both to you and to others, as this avoids conflict with all possible parties,” explains Jamie Whitehouse from the University of Portsmouth (UK).
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The Whitehouse and his colleagues have uncovered the evolutionary roots of one of the most unusual features of human behavior – the tendency to itch at that moment, when people experience fear or uncertainty in their knowledge and abilities.
Many people how to tell the scientists believe nervous scabies usual disorder, however, as it turned out, it is not so.
Observing the behavior of flocks of the 45 monkeys living in the wild in the territory of one of the small Islands off the coast of Puerto Rico, scientists noticed that the monkeys scratched with different frequency in different social situations.
This led them to closely follow what is done to the primates in those situations, when they began especially often itchy. It turned out that most of these cases occurred when the conflict of individuals with particularly high and low social status.
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How do I find the primatologia, monkeys began to itch in order to demonstrate the alpha male or the dominant female that they are afraid of them, so the number of conflicts is significantly reduced. For example, the “itch,” reduced the likelihood of conflict by 50% when meeting the alpha male and subordinate individuals, and markedly reduced the likelihood of the outbreak of fighting in that case, if the monkeys were not familiar with each other.
According to Whitehouse, the same evolutionary roots may also have other strange forms of human behavior, including “contagious” yawning, the cause of which scientists are trying to figure out for almost a decade.