Your Sweat Can Spread Happiness
, Posted on 22-Apr-2015

Your Sweat Can Spread Happiness

A new study, published in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that the smell of sweat can help in spreading happiness. Researchers have revealed that when we experience happiness we produce chemical compounds or chemosignals in our sweat which can be detected by others when they smell us. Senior study author Gün Semin, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands said that these chemosignals trigger a “contagion of the emotional state.” Semin added “This suggests that somebody who is happy will infuse others in their vicinity with happiness. In a way, happiness sweat is somewhat like smiling – it is infectious.”

Previous studies have already proved that the chemical compounds in sweat can give off negative emotions; however, recently several researchers have investigated whether or not the same could be stated for positive emotions. For the study, the researchers included 12 men. All of them were nonsmokers, took no medication and had no psychological disorders. The participants were asked to watch a video clip which produced one of the three emotions, fear, happiness or a neutral emotion.

A number of Chinese symbols were also shown to them and they were asked to rate how pleasant or unpleasant they felt each one was. The team reported that the task was designed to measure their “implicit emotion.”  Before the start of the test, the men rinsed and dried their armpits and attached absorbent pads to them that they wore during the tasks. Initial analysis revealed that the video clips successfully influenced the emotions of men.

In the next step, 36 women were added to the study all of whom were non smokers and free of psychological disorders. The women were asked to smell a sweat sample of each type of emotion the men experienced. The facial expressions of women were measured by the researchers to determine the emotions they felt on smelling each sample. It was found that women who smelled the “happy sweat” showed facial muscle activity associated with a Duchenne smile.