Tears evoke the intention to offer social support: A systematic investigation of the interpersonal effects of emotional crying across 41 countries

Proyecto: Proyecto de Investigación

Detalles del proyecto


Tearful crying is a ubiquitous and mainly human phenomenon. The persistence of this behavior throughout adulthood has fascinated and puzzled many researchers. Scholars have argued that emotional tears serve an attachment function: Tears are thought to act as a social glue that binds individuals together and triggers social support intentions. Initial experimental studies supported this proposition across several methodologies, but these were typically conducted only across Western participants, resulting in limited generalizability. The present study examines this effect across 36 countries spanning all populated continents, providing the most comprehensive investigation of the social effects of tearful crying to-date. Next to testing possible mediating factors, we also examine a number of moderating factors, including the crier’s gender and group membership, the situational valence (positive or negative situations), the social context (in private or public settings), the perceived appropriateness of crying, and trait empathy of the observer. The current work can inform theories on crying across the social sciences.

Descripción de Layman

We are aiming to determine whether a number of variables mediated the relationship between showing emotional tears and intentions to help the crying person. We are replicating this study in 36 countries to determine whether this relationship changes according to cultural context.

Palabras clave

Emotional Crying; Emotional Tears, Attachment, Cross-Cultural, Social Support
Título cortoEmotional Tears
Fecha de inicio/Fecha fin1/1/2012/4/20

Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible de las Naciones Unidas

En 2015, los estados miembros de las Naciones Unidas acordaron 17 Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible (ODS) globales para erradicar la pobreza, proteger el planeta y garantizar la prosperidad para todos. Este proyecto contribuye al logro de los siguientes ODS:

  • ODS 3: Salud y bienestar

Fuente principal de financiación

  • Capacidad Instalada (Unidad Académica)


  • Bogotá D.C.

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