A new study shows that tears may do more than simply express emotion: they might also contain pheromones that affect human behavior. Recent experiments with women’s tears have shown that men who smell women’s tears behave differently than men who smell a saline solution.
Robert R. Provine, professor of psychology, who has studied crying, said the discovery was “a really big deal” because “emotional tears are a very important evolutionary development in humans as a social species” and this “may be evidence of another human pheromone.”
Provine also helped to answer the question of why humans tickle each other in the most recent issue of Popular Science magazine. Tickling, he explains, is partly a mechanism for social bonding between close companions and helps forge relationships between family members and friends. The story, “FYI: What Is the Evolutionary Purpose of Tickling?” appeared in the January issue of Popular Science.