BrainMeta'   Connectomics'  

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Tears are a defensive weapon
Hey Hey
post Dec 14, 2009, 04:48 AM
Post #1


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 7766
Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Member No.: 845



Tears are a defensive weapon, says evolutionary psychologist

By Ofri Ilani

When Oren Hasson of the zoology department at Tel Aviv University sees a man or woman crying, he asks himself: What is the evolutionary benefit of crying?

Hasson does couples counseling, but is also an evolutionary psychologist, a field that looks at emotional and social phenomena through Charles Darwin's ideas about natural selection. "Our point of departure is the assumption that human beings have undergone an evolutionary process like all other creatures," Hasson says, adding that "they evolved in a manner in which more beneficial characteristics usually were more successful. That prompts us to ask why human behavior is the way it is. What advantage does it provide from an evolutionary standpoint?"

In an article in a recent issue of "Evolutionary Psychology," Hasson argues that crying enables human beings to create a semblance of helplessness while under attack and to convey a credible message of defenselessness. The Israeli zoologist explains that this state of being is created because tears obscure vision and prevent a person from fighting while he or she is crying. Tears prevent someone who is crying, Hasson contends, from effectively acting aggressively and sends the signal that someone who is crying has lowered his or her defenses.

Humans appear to be the only creatures that shed tears as an emotional reaction. Other animals excrete tears to clean their eyes following an injury or irritation from dust, but only human beings cry in social situations as an expression of sadness or excitement. Hasson says that in a setting in which someone is threatened, a crying person unconsciously increases survival prospects, because an attacker understands that someone who is crying is defenseless and there is no reason to continue to attack. In addition, he says, tears send a message of distress to potential allies in the vicinity and to those who are the enemies of the attacker.

Hasson adds that through crying, we are also capable of showing empathy and mutual emotion, creating a social connection and mutual trust. "We are presenting a kind of social display, expressing defenselessness. We lower everyone's defenses. In such a circumstance, the social connection is made stronger, because we are showing that we trust in one another."
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
code buttons
post Dec 14, 2009, 11:14 AM
Post #2


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 2450
Joined: Oct 05, 2005
Member No.: 4556



What about tears of joy?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
sumthinFancy
post Jan 27, 2010, 06:11 AM
Post #3


Newbie
*

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 26, 2010
Member No.: 32606



who actually crys when they feel threatened though? my dad just died and i cried a lot because i loved him and i was very sad to lose him but if i were under attack with a full flight/fight adrenaline response surely breaking down crying would be the last thing i'd do.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Hey Hey
post Jan 27, 2010, 05:43 PM
Post #4


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 7766
Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Member No.: 845



I'm sorry for your loss and hope you can call upon many happy memories of your dad to help sooth the pain that I have some familiarity with from my own loss of parents.

QUOTE(sumthinFancy @ Jan 27, 2010, 02:11 PM) *

who actually crys when they feel threatened though? my dad just died and i cried a lot because i loved him and i was very sad to lose him but if i were under attack with a full flight/fight adrenaline response surely breaking down crying would be the last thing i'd do.


To reiterate the points made in my post:

QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Dec 14, 2009, 12:48 PM) *
......Tears prevent someone who is crying, Hasson contends, from effectively acting aggressively and sends the signal that someone who is crying has lowered his or her defenses. ...... a crying person unconsciously increases survival prospects, because an attacker understands that someone who is crying is defenseless and there is no reason to continue to attack. In addition, he says, tears send a message of distress to potential allies in the vicinity and to those who are the enemies of the attacker.

Hasson adds that through crying, we are also capable of showing empathy and mutual emotion, creating a social connection and mutual trust. "We are presenting a kind of social display, expressing defenselessness. We lower everyone's defenses. In such a circumstance, the social connection is made stronger, because we are showing that we trust in one another."
Hanson is not saying that the mechanisms are necessarily vital for survival in modern humans, but rather are entrenched in the genome and were in the evolutionary past possibly one of the very reasons for survival to the present. However, if 'attack' is replaced by, for example, 'intimidate' or 'dominate' one could possibly see how the mechanisms might still have a role to play.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
code buttons
post Jan 27, 2010, 07:27 PM
Post #5


Supreme God
*******

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 2450
Joined: Oct 05, 2005
Member No.: 4556



I can't find the link related to this thread so I'll just mention the points from the story I read that are relevant to this thread:
Not long ago, in a highly publicized trial, a Houston man appeared before a jury accussed of driving while intoxicated; severely injuring an innocent man in the process and causing a lot of physical damage to innocent third parties.
The reason why the trial was highly publicized was the fact that the dude was not given one single day in prison by the jurors, despite being found guilty on all counts; and despite of the severity of his deeds. That's because, at the trial, the guy broke completely into tears as he begged to be spared from time in the joint for the sake of his young family who depended on him. It was almost comical to read how every person in that jury struggled to hold back their tears untill after the trial. Wether the guy was sincere or not on his plea turned out to be inconsecuencial. The incident came back to memory after reading this thread because it confirms to me the veracity of the topic at hand: tears are a very powerful defensive weapon in our social structure. Especially when it comes from the least expected source: men; at least in the aforementioned case. Had he been found guilty, he could have spent up to 30 years in jail and ruined his record for life, thereafter. But, as it turned out, he got out clean slate. Unbelievable! Never saw and probably will never see a case like that again.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Jessica T
post Oct 25, 2012, 06:25 AM
Post #6


Newbie
*

Group: Basic Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 25, 2012
Member No.: 34645



Totally agree. Like people who break down and cry when a situation gets to stressfull. Just a coping mechanism to get people to back down and it works
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 16th October 2017 - 02:08 PM


Home     |     About     |    Research     |    Forum     |    Feedback  


Copyright BrainMeta. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use  |  Last Modified Tue Jan 17 2006 12:39 am

Consciousness Expansion · Brain Mapping · Neural Circuits · Connectomics  ·  Neuroscience Forum  ·  Brain Maps Blog
 · Connectomics · Connectomics  ·  shawn mikula  ·  shawn mikula  ·  articles