Screaming is an instinctive behavior that we do when we are angry, when we need help, when we are scared or when we are excited. If someone screams in the street, many people’s attention will be drawn to him and some will rush to help him. Screaming is one of the communication methods that reflects and evokes a wide range of emotions. In the following, we describe the most common reasons for screaming and describe its positive effects on daily life.
Reasons for screaming
Animals produce different sounds when fighting or warning, but human screams have more reasons. Although screaming is a common behavior around the world, it is still largely unknown. Of course, in general, we can say that most of the time we scream or shout for one of the following reasons.
1. the pain
This type of scream shows suffering and torment. Screams from pain are deeper and louder than screams from fear. This type of scream can be to ask for help or to pour out and empty physical or mental discomfort and torment.
Usually, the cry is short and acoustically uncomplicated due to surprise. Consider the hidden camera footage of someone morphing into a bush or statue and suddenly moving to scare pedestrians, or your reaction when you turn on the light in the middle of the night and suddenly see a cockroach. This type of screaming, which is usually involuntary, is more of surprise than real fear.
Sometimes screaming is a sign of our joy and pleasure. For example, when we open a gift and see something we like or when our favorite singer comes on the concert stage.
4. the fear
Fear is the most common reason for screaming and maybe the first reason in our evolution. The act of screaming requires a lot of force and causes the vocal cords to vibrate in a chaotic and uncoordinated manner. The scream is intense, loud, piercing and chaotic. Screaming to scare the predator and attract the attention of others to help us. When we have no other option, screaming out of fear is the last way to escape.
5. Anger and aggression
This type of shouting is related to when we are angry with someone. Of course, we are not always alone in this type of shouting and sometimes we do this in a group. According to Dr. David Poeppel, a professor of psychology at New York University who researches screaming, the purpose of screaming can be to coordinate with each other. He explains that when we’re doing something as a group, whether it’s in a sports competition or a war, shouting unites us, gets the adrenaline flowing, and focuses our attention and determination on one thing.
6. Disappointment or sadness
Yelling out of frustration or sadness is usually an involuntary behavior. In this case, we usually shout at ourselves or the problem. Of course, there is also anger in this type of shouting, but not as much as the previous one. For example, when we are stuck in traffic, we may bang on the steering wheel and scream in frustration.
Although the mentioned cases are the most common causes of screaming, there is no clear boundary between them and sometimes they overlap with each other. For example, our screams in the amusement park roller coaster are both out of fear and excitement. Or when we are injured, the cry of pain can turn into a cry of anger and a sense of revenge and retribution. There is a wide range of cries, some of which may not have been discovered or categorized yet.
Positive effects of screaming
It is not only the scream itself that is interesting, but also the effect it has on others. Have you ever wondered why babies scream so much? Perhaps screaming is a way of conditioning parents and others to recognize their children’s unique cries and to know when they mean trouble for the child. Our cries are not always due to fear or joy and excitement, and in many cases we want to attract the attention of others.
Do you think screaming can be used to improve your daily life? According to researches, you can benefit from screaming, some of which we will examine below.
1. Reducing stress
For more than 50 years, the therapeutic method of “remembering and repeating childhood scenes” has been used. Childhood recollection therapy is a type of psychological therapy in which we encourage the patient to express violent childhood feelings by crying, screaming and shouting. Basically, this treatment method is an alternative to regular psychotherapy sessions, and it uses screaming and yelling to release suppressed anger or repressed emotions. For example, in this method, instead of lying on the office couch and talking, you empty yourself by shouting.
Of course, this treatment method is very controversial and is not recognized in psychology, but according to Dr. Puepel, screaming can cause emotional and emotional release from stressful situations or situations, like punching a punching bag or crying.
2. Increase in strength
A study at Iowa State University found that fast, loud, throaty screams increase strength. The participants in this experiment performed rapid exhalations, which are called kyaping in the martial arts. (Of course, these exhalations may not technically be considered shouting.) The hand strength of these subjects increased by 7% compared to those who did not produce a sound.
The author of this study thought that perhaps expelling the air stabilizes the core of the body and causes our power and strength to move faster through the limbs, such as is seen during tennis serves or before striking in martial arts. The fact that these sounds can be involuntary also supports this hypothesis. The next time you want to open a pickle jar or lift a weight, you can try this method!
3. Improve performance
Haka is a ritual and traditional dance of the Maori people of New Zealand, which is usually performed before the war and includes group singing and shouting. New Zealand rugby teams also perform this ceremony before major matches. According to Dr. Poeppel, the haka is an example of teams using yelling in coordination to boost their morale and intimidate their opponents. If something like this could work for you and your team, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
4. Improving the performance of a car or home alarm
Screams caused by fear have a sound characteristic called roughness. Roughness means how fast the sound changes in terms of loudness or amplitude. The loudest screams are the most frightening and have the greatest effect on the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls the fear response. Engineers want to understand how security or emergency sirens can be modified to be harsher and thus prompt us to react more quickly.
“I’m very excited about trying to find other sound stimuli like harshness in screams,” Poeppel says. Imagine that there is a list of stimuli that if you hear one of them, it goes into your brain and immediately triggers a certain behavior in you. “We still know very little about screaming, even though it plays a fundamental role in defining our identity as humans.”
You might think that screaming and yelling is the work of cowards or nervous people, but this work has psychological benefits and it helps to release our negative emotions. Screaming may even save our lives in times of danger. what is your opinion? Are you the type of person who expresses your feelings and vents them by shouting or do you prefer to keep silent and suppress your feelings?