Why Do We Blush Essay

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Why Do We Blush

I have blushed easily all my life. I simply accepted it as unavoidable that whenever I spoke in class, arrived somewhere late or was singled out for praise or correction that my face would redden significantly. As a young child I simply assumed that everyone blushed as much as I did, and that it was only my unusually pale skin that made my tendency towards blushing more apparent. But this is not, in fact, the case. Some people blush more than others do and some families blush more than others do (2). Some attribute blushing to social phobia, though it differs in that it is not accompanied by a change in pulse rate or blood pressure (1). Blushing is generally thought to be a response to embarrassment, but is the emotion
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The source of negative self- attention that results in this need to appease the group and by extension which leads to blushing were divided into categories: threats to public identity, scrutiny and the accusation of blushing (3). All of these result in negative self- attention and the sense that some social norm has been breached, resulting in the perceived necessity for an appeasement behavior, in this case, blushing.

Threats to public identity or a perceived negative reaction of other's often leads to blushing (3). Indeed, many people cited situations in which they have been caught or doing something of which they are ashamed as leading to blushing (3). This is consistent with blushing as an appeasement behavior. The person caught doing something that they perceive to be "shameful" or "improper" would feel the need to signal to the rest of their group that they recognize their transgression. That they reject their actions because they share the values of the groups other members and therefore that the group should accept them despite their mistake (1). Babies, for example, who have no sense of social norms or how they are perceived by others, do not blush at all (2). Blushing increases, though, when strangers witness something that an individual views as unflattering or which puts them in a negative light. For example, when three people together watched a video of one of
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