Why do some sounds and feelings, like running your nails on a chalkboard, give you that shivering feeling everyone hates?

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Why do some sounds and feelings, like running your nails on a chalkboard, give you that shivering feeling everyone hates?

In: Biology
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The best answer I can think of which may or may not be correct is because of innate behavior. Thousands of years ago our ancestors had harsh living conditions and the most cautious survived. When they heard or felt something off they freaked out because it doesn’t belong, hence they became alerted from the threat.

Even though we have nothing to fear from the sound of nails on a chalkboard, it is something that doesn’t belong, causing us to think back to our innate behaviors of survival.

Like Lovecraft once said, “The greatest fear is the fear of the unknown.”

I’m not sure if this is the case here, but:
Sound is a vibration of air (and then vibration of your ear). Such vibrations are damped as they travel – they gradually weaken and die out. All objects have a certain vibration frequency (resonant frequency), where the vibration (or any motion in genral) is damped more weakly or not at all. If you hear a sound that is at the resonant frequency of your ear, it may sound louder than it actually is, because the sound vibration is not damped as much as other sounds inside your ear.

Imagine yourself on a swing. You will swing highest, when you move your body back and forth at the resonant frequency of the swinging, where the motion is damped weakly and can “build up”.

The chalk/nails on board (or similar unpleasant sounds) might be at the resonant frequency of a human ear. Again, I can’t confirm if this is the case, this is just my theory from the mechanical point of view.