Could Your Sweat Put You In A Good Mood?

First Posted: Apr 20, 2015 01:14 AM EDT

If you're happy and you know it ... sweat?

New findings published in the Association for Psychological Science show that the smell of one's sweat can actually reveal if a person is genuinely happy or not.

Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that positive emotions could be shared through the smell of sweat.

To test this, researchers collected sweat samples from the armpits of 12 male participants who neither smoked nor took any medications. They were also asked to avoid alcohol, smelly foods, sexual activity or exercise during the study period.

Males were shown videos to induce different emotions, including fear, happiness and neutral feelings. Then, afterwards, they were exposed to the sweat samples of 36 females (smell receivers) to determine if they could detect happy sweat and whether it made them happy, too.

Findings showed that females exposed to happy sweat smiled. On the other hand, those exposed to fear sweat frowned, suggesting that they were able to differentiate the happy among the samples. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that exposure to the happy sweat is contagious among participants, helping them get into a better mood, as well.

"Our study shows that being exposed to sweat produced under happiness induces a simulacrum of happiness in receivers, and induces a contagion of the emotional state," Gün Semin, senior researcher and a psychological scientist at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said in a news release. "This suggests that somebody who is happy will infuse others in their vicinity with happiness. In a way, happiness sweat is somewhat like smiling - it is infectious."

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