Sadness is a universal, biologically based negative emotion associated with low mood and low energy, as well as with the perception of an irreversible object loss or of the failure to reach a goal, beyond one’s own capacity to recover it. Within a functional and evolutionary approach, sadness has an important function to communicate to others the need for social support. This entry covers the definitions of sadness, including its cognitive, behavioral, genetic, neurological, and physiological correlates. It also presents an overview of the life-span development of sadness and sadness socialization.

Sadness triggers an analytical reasoning style that promotes an understanding of the causes of past failures and prevents failure of future goals. Sad individuals have the tendency to self-focus their attention, which is the typical ...

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