Why only humans weep: Unravelling the mysteries of tears

Hardcover | February 28, 2013

byAd Vingerhoets

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Crying has fascinated mankind for millenia. Since ancient times, we have known that emotional tears are a unique human characteristic. Unsurprisingly, over hundreds of years, scholars from different backgrounds have speculated about the origin and functions of human tears. According to CharlesDarwin, tears fulfilled no adaptive function. And yet, this seems in sharp contrast to statements in the popular media about the significance of crying. Crying is thought to bring relief and is considered healthy - and withholding tears unhealthy. In addition, tears have been said to inhibitaggression in assaulters and to promote social bonding. Perhaps that could explain why tears have been so important in our evolution. Ad Vingerhoets is one of the few scientists in the world to have studied crying. He examines in Why only humans weep which claims about crying are scientifically tenable - which are fact and which are fiction? Though a psychologist, he doesn't just restrict himself to the current psychologicalliterature, but also explores work in evolutionary biology, neurosciences, theology, art, history, and anthropology to provide an integrated perspective on this complex phenomenon. Written throughout in an academically accessible style, this book is groundbreaking in contributing to a modernscientific understanding of crying. It will have broad appeal to psychologists, philosophers, biologists, and anthropologists.

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Crying has fascinated mankind for millenia. Since ancient times, we have known that emotional tears are a unique human characteristic. Unsurprisingly, over hundreds of years, scholars from different backgrounds have speculated about the origin and functions of human tears. According to CharlesDarwin, tears fulfilled no adaptive functio...

Dr. Ad Vingerhoets is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands. He published over 300 articles on stress, emotions, and quality of life in scientific journals and co-authored/ edited 17 books. His work on phenomena as crying, homesickness, sentiments, and "leisure sickness" aroused much interest ...

other books by Ad Vingerhoets

Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.1 inPublished:February 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198570244

ISBN - 13:9780198570240

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Table of Contents

1. Why humans cry: Unravelling the mysteries of tears2. The human nature of crying3. Crying and adaptation The hardware4. The antecedents and context of crying5. The intra-individual effects of crying6. The intra-individual effects of crying7. The social effects of tears8. Culture and crying9. Why some people cry more often than others10. Male and female tears11. Crying and health12. Too many tears13. A cultural historical perspective of tears14. Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

"Tears still are a poorly understood phenomenon among emotional phenomena, because humans are the only species who produce tears when experiencing certain emotions. This volume provides important contributions towards a better insight. It discusses all relevant problems and issues, in a morethorough way than has ever been done previously, it demonstrates the failures of some generally accepted suppositions, and comes up with some important first steps towards a better understanding of weeping. 'Why only humans weep' is rich and interesting reading, I have learned a lot from readingit." --Nico H. Frijda, author of The Emotions