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Why are tears associated with sadness?

  1. Aug 13, 2004 #1

    Why are tears associated with sadness?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2004 #2
    Are you asking for an opinion?

    In the everyday world, it's likely associated with sadness because when you're extremely upset, you cry.

    As a child or baby, if you're sad/upset, you usually cry.

    As an adult, if you're upset enough over a death or another tragedy, you usually cry.

    Obviously, some people cry out of joy or happiness. However, I doubt as many people have cried when they are happy than when they were upset. I haven't met anyone who cries when they are happy, but almost everyone I've met have cried when they were upset, sad or frustrated.

    Sadness is associated with crying probably because that's when most people cry.

    Anyways, that was just completely my opinion. :shy:

    Here are some others that are a lot more factual:



  4. Aug 14, 2004 #3


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    Isn't it strange though? Crying? Why the tears? Strange you can't cry on demand. Strange that you can cry out of happiness.. :confused:
  5. Aug 14, 2004 #4
    Crying I think is a means to help ourselves when we are sad or in distress. It relieves the pressure off your mind up to a certain extent. Who doesn't feel better after a good cry?

    Maybe it's origins can be pinpointed by looking at evolution?

    Well, well, I can assure you that some can cry on demand! I believe that kids sometimes cry when they want to (not because they are sad ...) because they get used to getting attention when they cry. So whenever they want attention they cry. And I've known some women to cry on demand! (NB: this statement is not meant to be of any discriminative nature.)
  6. Aug 14, 2004 #5
    The few instances I caused my mother to cry instilled great feelings of regret in me - her tears effectively signalled a loving need for me to stay out of trouble, to stay safe.

    When I cry, it is usually over the heroic deeds of others, like one sacrificing their life for another; elsewise, from the fear of being ganged up upon.
  7. Aug 15, 2004 #6
    why then, do people cry during times of strong emotion?
    how does the brain work in this?
  8. Aug 22, 2004 #7
    is crying possibly a way for the body to expel excess chemicals that would otherwise go to heightening an emotion? to relieve pain, or control happiness etc
  9. Aug 22, 2004 #8
    Some scientists claim that tears are a remnant from the time we could not express ourselves with words. So how ridiculous would it be if we evolved to a level where crying was not necessary, we would only need to express ourselves with words?

    Crying is healthy nevertheless if it is sadness or happiness.
  10. Aug 22, 2004 #9
    Actually even though we are evolved enough to be using words to express ourselves, we still rely heavily on body language to communicate. In fact, body language accounts for 55% of http://www.3m.com/meetingnetwork/readingroom/meetingguide_nonverbal.html [Broken] as a whole and words along with the tone of voice, the remaining 45%, with words themselves only representing 7%!!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  11. Aug 24, 2004 #10
    Yea, I am not an evolutionist, but I agree that the body language is an important part of our communication and without it, it would be not much of a rich life.
  12. Aug 24, 2004 #11
    The same way we use smilies on a forum or during chatting.
    Its somewhat of an alternative body.
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