The spit-in-the-tube stress test.

Some years ago, my British friend David the psychologist did some research that looked at the stress of driving in heavy traffic.

Although both sexes said that they didn’t find it especially stressful, David had a cunning plan which involved getting his participants to spit into a plastic vial before and after a drive.


Anyway, the saliva was then subjected to some rigorous lab work which showed that while his female participants remained reasonably calm, the men’s stress levels rocketed – even though they insisted that the situation wasn’t affecting on them.

David’s view was that there’s possibly a kind of ‘fight or flight’ response brewing in men, but you can’t exactly do a lot of fighting or flighting when you’re stuck in a nose-to-tail jam.

So they became frustrated and stressed.

Being unaware of something like stress isn’t clever, as we can be inclined to behave irrationally or even dangerously when we’re massively wound up.

So if you think you know how you’re feeling (and especially, it seems, if you happen to be a man) perhaps it’s worth thinking again.

Pay attention to all the signs around you.

Take notice, too, of what those around you may be telling you.

It makes an awful lot of sense to be in touch with your emotions.

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