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Adult crying, defined as the secretion of tears occasioned by the experience of emotion, was once a neglected topic in the study of emotion. Given the effects that crying, whether in infants, children, or adults, can have on others as well as on the self, as crying may also have important intrapersonal effects, this is a curious lacuna in the history of the science of emotion. Adult emotional crying, in all of its many manifestations, is now the object of intense scrutiny by a growing number of scientists. A consensus is emerging that, at its core, adult crying, like that of infants, is a powerful signal that indicates that the crying person is vulnerable and is in need of comfort or assistance. In contradistinction to ...

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