Stress conditions can indeed be transmitted between people like an infection, a conclusion reached by scientists at the universities of Giessen and Vienna. An article with the conclusions of the researchers was published in Psychoneuroendocrinology.
The experiment with volunteers, conducted by the authors of the study, showed that it is enough to be close to a person who is experiencing stress to begin to feel the stress itself. In particular, the presence of a person immersed in stress activates the production of hormones associated with stress.
In the experiment, the subjects were divided into groups of four or five people, in which the scientists tried to form a sense of unity. Then, one person was taken from each group, who had to solve a complicated mathematical problem. The rest of the group members had to observe this. At the same time, the observers had their saliva taken for stress hormone analysis.
Experience showed that stress is especially contagious if people feel united. But even the mere presence of a person experiencing stress can also provoke the activation of biological stress factors. This is, in particular, the increased production of cortisol hormone. The results of this research allow us to get closer to the creation of new effective techniques of stress control – say foreign scientists.