Shaking a person’s hand as a form of greeting is something we all do and have done countless times. But have you ever wondered why we’re actually doing it?
When Mr. Tumnus asked Lucy in Narnia what’s the reason behind this hand-shaking habit, she told him that people just do it without any particular reason. However, a team of researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel believe they have finally found the real reason. Are you ready for it? Smelling!
The researchers conducted a study on participants, both male and female, and concluded that they touched their faces after they had shaken hands. In fact, the touching was twice as much as the usual amount of times they touched their faces on regular basis. The study showed that the participants subsequently tried to identify the odor the person in front of them was emitting. Just like dogs smell their behinds, the participants smelled their partners.
According to the researchers, different odors make us perceive the person in front of us in a number of ways. The study also showed that when pairs from a same gender used the hand they had shaken with when they touched their face, while pairs from different genders touched their faces with the hand they hadn’t shaken with.