Why Crying When You’re Happy Actually Makes Sense

Do viral videos of war veterans being reunited with their children or dogs rescuing their owners make you choke up — maybe just a little bit? Many people cry at weddings and graduations, but often, it doesn’t take more than a photo or video of a heartwarming scene to get us a little misty.

We often find ourselves crying — the universal sign for unhappiness — when we feel overwhelmed with intense positive emotions. According to a new study, we may display a negative reaction to a joyful experience as a way of keeping ourselves from getting too overwhelmed with positive emotions.

The study, conducted at Yale University and published in the journal Psychological Science, took a close look at what’s technically referred to as “dimorphous expressions” — meaning, two expressions for one emotion — such as tearing up and smiling during a happy movie, giggling and mourning at a funeral or cooing and gritting teeth when playing with a cute puppy.

“In our experiments we sought to record that people are actually experiencing one emotion (e.g., happiness) and then displaying two expressions,” the study’s lead author, Yale psychologist Orian Aragon told The Huffington Post.

The researchers measured participants’ responses —> Read More Here


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