Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why we blush

Earlier this year I read a great explanation for why humans blush. I had never thought about it before but obviously blushing confers an advantage on the blusher, evolutionarily speaking. If it didn't, we wouldn't blush. So what's the advantage?

The answer is simple: acceptance comes to those who blush. Think about it. When we're with a new group of people and we blush, we reveal something about ourselves. This lets the group know we're "one of them". In essence, blushing is a way to share personal values with observers. And there's no way to fake a blush so the observer gains here too. It's so weird: it's a communication tool, albeit one that is often embarrassing.

Blushing confers a direct evolutionary advantage on the blusher: group acceptance. Without that, early man would not have thrived. Nothing in life exists unless there's a good reason for it. Evolution is totally cool.

Here's a link to an article about the evolutionary aspects of blushing. I think this is a very cool science fact.