Why do we scratch our heads when we are confused or perplexed? Some people scratch the side of their noses. In class, when a student is asked about a question and he does not know the answer he begins to scratch his head. We do the same in difficult situations or difficult puzzles. Why do we do it? The brain is up there. Do we ask it to give us the answer or help us with that gesture?    

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Si lo see, te dire!. If Iknow, I would tell you, my lady.  That is correct, they are results of the commands from the nervous system. To cover our mouth from saying something we do not want to say or utter. To cover our ears so that we do not listen to loud sounds or undesired talk. For the nose, I guess it is as the lady Svitlana and Said Almogrbe stated, an involuntary or pretentious way to hide a  confusion. Thanks, Janeth for your useful comment.

Hi !  Thank you  Dara for the new nice  blog 

Let's think of the possibilities :

1-  Perhaps we do it  to direct more blood toward the head .

2- Maybe it is a gesture to show the other people that we are thinking and we are not aware about all the things around and they should expect any wired reaction .

3-Maybe by thinking deeply  a  huge amount of blood  come to head  and  because of that the temperature of head goes up and it can be cause for itching  the sensitive parts of the head skin.

4- Maybe that's a habit  and we have learned it from other people. ( like the gestures sports competitors  show before Jumping , throwing and ... to concentrate better )

5- maybe by holding our hand up we are trying to send that part of blood  in the hand or hands  to the head.

6- Maybe in this way we are making a focal point  to be able to focus on idea better . ( I mean  not to think of other parts of body and just  to a point like where we are scratching up )

7- maybe we are emphasizing and showing it to ourselves and others  (about what we are doing) and ask them to help us in this way ( without saying a word ).

8- other reasons 

and I think all of them can be meaningful and we are  doing all at the same time . :)

Khaili mumnoon, nabiga Darius! The first possibility and the fifth one are logical somehow. The direction of the blood towards the head by raising the hand or hands and vice versa. To concentrate on the point so that we can come up with a better answer. Possibility number two is on an agreement with Mr. Said and the lady, Svitlana. Umeed and Maximus Potato have the same concept of that possibility.  I mean possibility number six and seven. Why did I call you genius Darius? Thanks for your useful and meaningful possibilities. 

Thank you Dara! 

As a result ,next time as soon as we are going to think about something deeply it is better we do it with hands up.


Lol! Khaili mumnoon, nabiga darius! You reminded me of the cowboy films. They usually use that phrase, "hands up". I really appreciate the noble and the meaningful interventions from your side. They are indeed very useful tips for all of us. Thank you again. 

I think it is some kind of frustrated aggression? some kind of self-touching movements when we are stressed?  :) just saying...

Magandang hapon Golsky Jebulan. Wow! That was really a big a nice expression, (frustrated aggression) I really like the phrase. It is true my dear new friend. Stress causes such movements. Thanks for your comment and thanks for adding me as one of your friends.    

I think there is not a definite answer to this psychological gesture.  It may be the indication to show the questioner that "I am thinking...for an answer!"

Automatic gestures like head scratching are a kind of expressive shorthand for our feelings. One popular explanation for any hand-to-head movements is that they're frustrated aggression-- a reversion to the natural movements of our rock-throwing ancestors. If you watch a small child strike at something, he'll raise an arm over his head and bring it forward in an arc. It's a natural, unstudied movement. Not much finesse, but for a cave man it got the job done. 

When we're wrestling with some knotty problem, we experience feelings of frustration, perhaps some anger, and before we know it, our hand flies up in the air. But hold it. In these modern times, it's not polite to bash the guy who asked the question. So instead we deflect attention from the movement and scratch or rub our head or chin or neck. .............."

yahi ho sakta hain, Mihaikh janab! It could be that one. I also like that expression about the caveman. I noticed that in the past when someone raises his hand to throw something or block an attacking hand. Although it is the era of the quick social media some of our own ideas and thoughts belong to the caveman era. So, it is a deflect of the attention from the movement itself. Thanks, Mr. Mishaikh for your useful and interesting comment.       

    Well I think it's a matter of embarrassment. People  try to find the answer and  they late or ignorant  and scratch their head. Thanks for your  nice blog.

Ifcharisto poly Anastasia! I agree, Ana.  It is a matter of pretending and hiding. When we do not know the answer that is exactly what we do. Thanks for your quick response. I have sent a message to your inbox. Thanks again. 


I guess you come up with this question after noticing one of your students. :D 

It happens also to workers or anyone who faces a problem.

"When the brain/head is hot thinking so hard for a solution, it feels like exploding". So, it is probably to delay or stop the explosion. LOOOOL............Maybe it also helps the blood flow work well. And finally, it cools down the feeling of stress. hehe.

Thank you for your interesting discussion.


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