People really do find safety in numbers!

People really do find safety in numbers: Having another person with you when you are scared makes you LESS afraid – even if they’re a stranger

  • Study of 97 females found humans get more scared when they face things alone  
  • When in the presence of someone else – even a stranger – people are calmer  
  • Researchers think it stems from a primitive fear of being separated from a group

Humans really do find safety, and courage, in numbers. 

A study found the mere presence of another person in the room stops people getting as scared as they would if they were alone. 

Researchers assessed how 97 women responded when listening to scary noises, like a human scream. 

When a person was partnered up with someone else, even a complete stranger, they were calmer than someone who faced the challenge alone. 

This study suggests that humans—like other social animals—have kept their evolutionary instincts of being on high alert when separated from the group. 

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Researchers from the University of Wurzburg in Germany found a person’s response to frightening events is subdued by the presence of another person – even a stranger (stock)

‘Our study showed that the mere physical presence of another person can reduce humans’ autonomic responses to aversive sounds, compared to individuals who experienced the same aversive event alone,’ researchers from the University of Wurzburg in Germany write in their study

Researchers sat participants in front of a black screen with a pair of headphones on and played a random assortment of sounds. 

The sounds lasted for four seconds each and were preceded by a white square or a white circle for neutral and scary noises, respectively.

Skin conductance responses (SCRs) are use to quantify how significantly a person is affected by a specific stimuli.

It measures minute secretions of chemicals from the skin.

A person’s level of arousal – whatever the cause – is directly proportional to their SCR measurement. 

The more emotional, excited or scared a person is, the greater the reading given. 

It works by applying a small current via a pad on a patch of skin and then measuring spikes in skin conductivity that coincide with stimuli.   

The alone group underwent the procedure by themselves, whereas the participants in the other group underwent the identical procedure but with another person present. 

Anxiety was measured by skin conductance responses (SCRs) to see how a person’s body instinctively reacted to the stimuli. 

This measures minute secretions of chemicals from the skin triggered by a certain stimuli. 

A person’s level of arousal — whatever the cause — is directly proportional to their SCR measurement. 

The more emotional, excited or scared a person is, the greater the measurement that is produced.  

It works by applying a small current via a pad on a patch of skin and then measuring spikes in skin conductivity that coincide with stimuli.  

The participants also submitted ratings of how each sound affected them to supplement this data.  

Those who heard the terrifying noises alone got sweatier hands and registered a higher SCR than those who were accompanied by another person.  

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 

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