Title

Is Crying Beneficial?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2008

Keywords

crying, well-being, distress, arousal, catharsis

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00614.x

Abstract

Lay opinion and extensive survey data indicate that crying is a cathartic behavior that serves to relieve distress and reduce arousal. Yet laboratory data often indicate that crying exacerbates distress and increases autonomic arousal. In this article, we present a framework for explaining variations in the psychological effects of crying as a function of (a) how the effects of crying are measured, (b) conditions in the social environment, (c) personality traits of the crier, and (d) the affective state of the crier. Recognizing the heterogeneity of crying effects represents a step toward a more nuanced understanding of this behavior, including its implications for psychosocial adjustment.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Current Directions in Psychological Science, v. 17, issue 6, p. 400-404

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