When Did People First Start Clapping to Show Appreciation?

Love Curiosity? Subscribe to our email to get our stories delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.

If you watch an amazing performance, what do you do? If you're a polite member of society, you likely clap your hands (or give a "woo!"). But why do we clap our hands together to show approval? As it turns out, clapping is a learned behavior. Babies will clap when they discover that their hands can make a fun noise, but parents must teach them to clap for enthusiasm.

Some say clapping goes back to the dawn of humanity, while others points towards documentation in the Bible. Uncover other theories in the following video.

Is there something you're curious about? Send us a note or email us at editors (at) curiosity.com. And follow Curiosity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Clapping Is A Learned Social Behavior

Written by Curiosity Staff March 27, 2017