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"Cry" redirects here. For other uses, see Cry (disambiguation). "Weeping" redirects here. For the weeping habit of trees, see Weeping tree. This article is about the human shedding of tears. For other uses, see Crying (disambiguation). A toddler crying. French people bid troops of the French Army goodbye as they leave metropolitan France at Marseille harbour, 1941.Crying (also referred to as sobbing, weeping, bawling, or wailing) is shedding tears as a response to an emotional state in humans. One need only shed a single tear to be crying. The act of crying has been defined as "a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures".[1] A…show more content…
Emotional tears have also been put into an evolutionary context. One study proposes that crying, by blurring vision, can handicap aggressive or defensive actions, and may function as a reliable signal of appeasement, need, or attachment.[11] Dr. Oren Hasson, an evolutionary psychologist in the zoology department at Tel Aviv University explains that crying shows vulnerability and submission to an attacker, solicits bystanders for sympathy and aid, and signals shared emotional attachments.[12] Another theory that follows evolutionary psychology is given by Paul D. MacLean, who suggests that the vocal part of crying was used first as a "separation cry" to help reunite parents and offspring. The tears, he speculates, are a result of a link between the development of the cerebrum and the discovery of fire. MacLean figures that since early humans must have relied heavily on fire, their eyes were frequently producing reflexive tears in response to the smoke. As humans evolved and began to say "Rest in Peace" to their dead, the smoke possibly gained a strong association with the loss of life and, therefore, sorrow.[13] [edit] Biological responseIt can be very difficult to observe biological effects of crying, especially considering many psychologists believe the environment in which a person cries can alter the experience of the crier. However, crying studies in laboratories have shown several physical effects of
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