Demonstrating clear signs of stress can make people more attractive and encourage others to treat them more positively. It is possible that in the process of evolution Homo sapiens even specifically developed the ability to demonstrate the external manifestations of his psycho-emotional state to others in order to receive additional support
Such findings were made by British researchers from the University of Nottingham Trent and the University of Portsmouth, who published an article on the subject in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. A corresponding press release was published on the website of the University of Portsmouth.
Researchers have studied the paradox of stressful behavior, in which humans, like other primates, often show external signs of stress “to their own detriment,” such as scratching, biting nails, fluttering and touching their face or hair. to others that they are in an inadequate condition. It turned out that outside observers not only manage to determine quite accurately when someone is stressed, but also react more positively to people who show more signs of stressful behavior. As part of the study, participants in the experiment were videotaped while performing work that they had to prepare as soon as possible. The videos were shown to other volunteers who had to assess how tense they thought the person in the video was. The participants in the experiment, who reported that they were seriously worried during the task, were perceived by the outside world as experiencing the greatest stress. The results also showed that people are usually able to determine when others are stressed because of their own behavior. Interestingly, the subjects who were identified as experiencing the most stress during the task evoked the most sympathy from others, which the experimenters said provided a key to understanding how empathy works and why people have evolved to demonstrate to others these signals.
Homo sapiens, unlike many other animals, shows a great tendency to cooperate with their peers, and perhaps that is why behavior that informs others of their own weakness has succeeded in such a great development.