Does anyone enjoy crying

Tears: why we sometimes cry for joy

When Oriana Aragon heard the term "tears of joy" for the first time, she was puzzled. How and why should it be possible to show the opposite of what one feels? “I was surprised that no one had asked themselves this question about why that is so,” she says. Who knows: Maybe someone had already asked this question - but at least not in a scientific context. Aragon, who as a psychologist at Yale University has the best qualifications to clarify unanswered questions, got to work.

She examined the "dimorphous expressions" - that is, two-dimensional feelings that do not go together at first glance, in a series of experiments. Her focus: emotions in which positive feelings were accompanied by emotional expressions that are actually "reserved" for negative feelings. Tears in your eyes at the birth of your own baby, at the appearance of the revered teen star, at the beautiful end of a film or when your favorite football club wins an important game.

All of these examples combine feelings of happiness with expressions of feelings of sadness. Another example is combining attraction with an emotional expression that conveys aggression - like pinching the cheek of a terribly cute baby.

Cute babies to "nibble on"

In several online studies, Aragon exposed its test subjects to precisely such very positive stimuli and asked about their emotional reaction. In fact, more people said a baby was "eatable" or "nibble on" when it was particularly cute.

Tears do not lie