The riddle of human emotional crying: A challenge for emotion researchers

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79 Citations (Scopus)


Until now, adult crying has received relatively little interest from investigators, whereas in the popular media there are many strong claims about crying (e.g., crying brings relief) of which the scientific basis is not clear. In this review, we provide an overview of the current state of the scientific literature with respect to crying. We identify gaps in knowledge and propose questions for future research. The following topics receive special attention: Ontogenetic development, antecedents, individual and gender differences, and the intra- and interindividual effects of crying. We conclude that the study of crying may help us obtain better insight into human nature, that is, not only our emotional, but also social, and moral functioning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-217
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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