Feeling stressed might make us more susceptible to becoming injured

Feeling stressed might make us more susceptible to becoming injured ...

According to a new study from scientists at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Portsmouth, showing signs of stress might make us more likeable and induce others to act more positively towards us.

Those who studied stress behavior explored the possibility of finding out why, as in other primates, humans exhibit signs of stress - such as scratching, nail-biting, fidgeting, and touching their face or hair - which might demonstrate to others that they are in a state of turmoil.

People reacted more positively to those who showed greater signs of stress, as well as being able to accurately identify when someone was stressed.

While taking part in a mock presentation and interview, participants were assessed and interviewed with very short notice. The videos were presented to raters, who were asked to rate how stressed the person in the video was.

Participants who felt more stressed during the task were perceived as more stressed by the raters. Similarly, those who showed more self-directed behaviors during the task, such as scratching and nail-biting, were also perceived as more stressed. These findings suggest that individuals can accurately detect when others are feeling stress due to their behavior, something that has yet to be identified.

Participants who were identified as being more stressed during the task were also perceived as more likeable, indicating that human beings have evolved to produce stress signals.

We are a very cooperative animal compared to many other animals, and this may be the reason why behaviours that indicate weakness were able to thrive.

Jamie Whitehouse, a Research Fellow at the National University of Social Sciences and research, has been the lead.

Jamie Whitehouse, a research fellow at the National University of Social Sciences and research director, said: "We wanted to discover what advantages might be in expressing stress to others, to assist explain why stress behaviours have evolved in humans."

If developing these habits leads to positive social interactions from others who want to help, rather than negative social interactions from those who want to compete with you, then these behaviours will likely be chosen in the evolutionary process. We are a very cooperative species compared to many other animals, and this could be the result of behaviours that manifest weakness.

According to Professor Bridget Waller, if the individuals induce an empathetic-like reaction in the raters, they may be more likeable as a result of this, or it might be that a genuine weakness may be indicative of an aggressive intent and/or a willingness to engage in a cooperative rather than competitive interaction, something which might be a likable or preferred characteristic in a social partner. This fits with current understanding of expressivity, which tends to suggest that people who are more emotionally expressive are

Our team is currently looking into whether young children demonstrate this vulnerability to stress situations.

Dr Sarah Millward, a co-author at the University of Portsmouth, is a professor in science.

As part of our study, author Sophie Milward from the University of Portsmouth said: "We are currently looking at whether young children also demonstrate this sensitivity to stress states. By understanding childhood, we can understand how difficult it is to detect stress, as well as assessing how exposure to adults'' stress might adversely affect young children."

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