Why do we avoid human contact in elevators?

When you are in an elevator, it is common to avoid contact with other people present in this enclosed space. This would be an instinctive response to a possible danger.

For claustrophobic people, the lifts are clearly a lair that they are very unwilling to borrow. But even for everyone, the passage in this cabin is not necessarily a moment of pleasure. If only for the simple and good reason that miscellaneous facts or fictions have, on many occasions, reported blocked elevators for more or less bearable durations.

Elevators: generally unfriendly behavior

In an article dated a few years ago, Forbes pointed out that when two people, strangers to each other, are in an elevator, it is very unlikely that they will face. It is also doubtful that these individuals speak to each other or even look at each other.

An instinctive reaction to possible danger

In the situation of a crowded elevator, its occupants would fix their attention on the buttons of the device, the walls, the floors or the ceiling. In short, everything to avoid looking at another person. For Professor Dario Maestripieri, who then officiated at the University of Chicago, this behavior could result from an instinctive reaction to a situation deemed dangerous: “Much of people’s behavior in elevators is not the result of rational thought. The threat of aggression is not real, but our mind reacts as if it is, and produces behaviors intended to protect us.”

An eloquent study on two macaques

Professor Maestripieri’s observations were based on a study he had conducted on two macaques. Locked in a cage with reduced dimensions, the monkeys stood in isolated places and looked at a point outside the cage. To avoid ending up attacking each other, these primates showed their teeth, like a smile. Either a way for human beings to release the tension, proven or not, by taking the elevator.

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