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Note from the Editors

After more than a decade of independent operation during which Evolutionary Psychology has grown to become a premier publication outlet for evolutionary psychological research, we are thrilled to have found a permanent home with SAGE. The success of the Journal over the past decade made it impossible for the editors and their current and former graduate students to continue to personally fund and manage the Journal. With the commitment, attention, and resources provided by SAGE, Evolutionary Psychology has a very bright future. A small Author Publication Charge of US$195 (assessed only on submissions accepted for publication following rigorous peer review) ensures that all previous and future articles published in the Journal will remain open access and freely accessible. We are deeply grateful to the Associate Editors, Editorial Board Members, editorial production staff, and the reviewers and readers who have supported the Journal since its inception in 2003, and look forward to working with you and with SAGE to continue to grow Evolutionary Psychology.

Original article:

Emotional tears facilitate the recognition of sadness and the perceived need for social support

Evolutionary Psychology 11(1): 148-158 Martijn J. H. Balsters, Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg University, m.j.h.balsters@uvt.nlEmiel J. Krahmer, Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg UniversityMarc G. J. Swerts, Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg UniversityAd J. J. M. Vingerhoets, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University


The tearing effect refers to the relevance of tears as an important visual cue adding meaning to human facial expression. However, little is known about how people process these visual cues and their mediating role in terms of emotion perception and person judgment. We therefore conducted two experiments in which we measured the influence of tears on the identification of sadness and the perceived need for social support at an early perceptional level. In two experiments (1 and 2), participants were exposed to sad and neutral faces. In both experiments, the face stimuli were presented for 50 milliseconds. In experiment 1, tears were digitally added to sad faces in one condition. Participants demonstrated a significant faster recognition of sad faces with tears compared to those without tears. In experiment 2, tears were added to neutral faces as well. Participants had to indicate to what extent the displayed individuals were in need of social support. Study participants reported a greater perceived need for social support to both sad and neutral faces with tears than to those without tears. This study thus demonstrated that emotional tears serve as important visual cues at an early (pre-attentive) level.


tears, crying, emotion, sadness, support

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)

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