All choked up: understanding the functions of tears

Krivan, Sarah, and Caltabiano, Marie (2015) All choked up: understanding the functions of tears. In: [Presented at the 5th Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference]. From: ACNS 2015: 5th Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference, 26-29th November, Auckland, New Zealand.

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Although crying is a pervasive form of human emotional expression, it has received relatively little research attention, despite its prevalence in popular media. This form of emotional signalling is dependent on both intra and inter-individual differences. When adopting an inter-individual differences approach, there is contention about the help-soliciting function of tears, with factors of social role theory, and context and scenario severity presented as possible moderating factors. Interestingly, despite the fact that gender differences have been heavily researched, with consensus that women cry more frequently then men, no work has been conducted utilising androgynous stimuli. We examined and compared attitudes about gender-neutral vignettes featuring crying individuals. Specifically, participants (N = 205) were randomly assigned to a contextual crying condition (employment versus home), and responded to two vignettes of differing severity. Participants attributed individuals who were crying in employment conditions with greater female-stereotypical traits of emotionality and sensitivity, in addition to lower levels of competence and determination. These findings support the theory that the inter-individual effects of crying are an important moderating factor in determining the help-soliciting functions of tears.

Item ID: 43563
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
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Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2016 00:28
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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