I would just like to start with saying WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL EVERYONE! But more importantly, welcome back to psychology 101! I’ve started this year amazingly well by already posting this article two days late… so I hope everyone else is doing a little better than me 🙂
I thought we’d start this year’s instalment with something super fun: pheromones. Okay, the word by itself isn’t that intriguing but I’m telling you it gets interesting, don’t worry.
So. Pheromones. What are they?
Pheromones are a chemical our bodies give off which attract others through our sense of smell.
It sounds a bit weird but it’s not something anyone consciously does. No one wakes up and thinks, “I’m going to try extra hard to smell nice for so and so today.” Some of us just smell naturally good to certain people!
The reason some people smell better to others can be explained through biological psychology. Evolutionarily, the reason why people “mate” is to have babies. Good babies. Super healthy awesome babies that survive as long as possible. And to give your baby a better chance at surviving you want it to have a good immune system right? People who smell really good to you are likely to have a genetic makeup that’s really different to yours. That’s your brain’s way of telling you that “hey, this person would make a perfect partner because with their immune system combined with your immune system your baby can beat up any sickness!”
Well that’s an interesting theory, but I need you to prove it.
I can totally (try) to do that! There are lots of studies to see if people are actually attracted to others who have a very different genetic makeup.
One of the main studies that have been conducted a few times involves t-shirts.
If you’re too lazy to actually go watch the link I’ll give you a little run down now:
In this experiment 6 girls wore the same t-shirt two nights in a row and then put it in a plastic bag for safe keeping. Then these shirts were put in a jar and labeled A-F . Different guys had to smell the jars and then decide which one they liked the most. It was then revealed that the shirts they liked the most belonged to the girls who were most different to them genetic wise – proving the pheromone theory!
Why should we know about pheromones exactly?
I’m not really sure. Maybe you can go around smelling people? But I wouldn’t recommend it – that’s super awkward and border line creepy. If you want to smell someone at least ask them first 🙂