People attracted to others who smell like them

Friends who sniff at first: people who are attracted to others who smell like them

We smell each other’s body odor, volatile molecules, and in same-sex duos, a similar body odor predicts friendship. There is real chemistry in social chemistry. Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science

It’s often said that people who click right away share “chemistry.”

This phrase could literally be true, according to a new study published in the journal scientific progress on Friday, showing that people with similar body odors are more likely to click as friends

“Non-human land mammals are constantly sniffing themselves and each other and decide who is based on this” friend or enemy,” wrote a group of researchers led by Inbal Ravreby of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Because people seek friends who resemble themselves, the team hypothesized that people can smell themselves and others to unconsciously estimate the similarity of body odor and assess their compatibility.






Credit: Inbal Ravreby

To find out, they began collecting samples from pairs of non-romantic same-sex friends who described that they clicked at first sight, that is, “where a sense of friendship was formed before exchanging extensive biographical information.” ‘. according to the paper.

After an extensive recruiting effort, they found 20 couples, half of whom were male and the other half female, all between 22 and 39 years old.

To avoid contamination or external factors affecting their samples, all participants had to follow a strict protocol, which included avoiding spicy foods and sleeping away from their partner and pets in a clean cotton T-shirt provided to them.

The T-shirts were collected in ziplock bags and tested with an electronic nose – a device equipped with sensors to analyze chemical composition† The researchers found that the odor characteristics of “click friends” matched more closely statistically than odors between non-friends.

To assess whether the eNose results are accurately mirrored human perceptionthe team recruited human noses and devised a series of tests to check the validity of their result.

For example, in one of these tests, the human noses were presented with three scents: two from a pair of click friends and one outlier. They successfully identified the pairs and rejected the outlier.

Also smell predicted friendships

These results seemed to confirm the hypothesis that similar scents might encourage friendship, but an alternative explanation was that people who are friends spend a lot of time together and thus share the same body.odor shaping experiences, such as where they live and what they eat.

To disentangle these two possibilities, the team devised another test to see if smell could be a successful predictor of clicking on two people who have never met.

They recruited 17 strangers and got them all to communicate with each other in a test called the “Mirror Game” – half a meter apart so they could smell each other unconsciously, they were asked to mimic each other’s hand movements for two minutes, without talking to each other. .

Friends who sniff at first: people who are attracted to others who smell like them

We smell each other’s body odor, volatile molecules, and in same-sex duos, a similar body odor predicts friendship. There is real chemistry in social chemistry. Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science

Chemical similarity in their scents, as tested by the eNose, successfully predicted reciprocal clicks in 77 percent of cases and predicted 68 percent of cases where both parties said they did not click.

In addition, the closer the scent of people was, the more they reported liking each other, understanding each other, and feeling greater chemistry among each other.

Together, the results of the study “came together to suggest that non-romantic same-sex click friends are more similar than expected by chance,” the team concluded.

Humans, unlike other land mammals, use complex language to communicate, and so it’s possible that the effects of smell in lab settings were amplified compared to how important they were in real life, the team wrote.

“Nevertheless, we think our results imply that we may also be more similar to other terrestrial mammals in this regard than we typically appreciate.”


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More information:
Inbal Ravreby et al, There is chemistry in social chemistry, scientific progress (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciaadv.abn0154

© 2022 AFP

Quote: Friends at first sniff: People Attracted to Others Who Smell Like Them (2022, June 24) Retrieved June 24, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-friends-people-drawn.html

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