Ad Vingerhoets

Ad Vingerhoets
Tilburg University | UVT · Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology

PhD

About

488
Publications
205,875
Reads
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12,578
Citations
Introduction
My research currently focuses on the study of tears and crying. See: /https://tedx.amsterdam/talks/ad-vingerhoets-why-do-only-humans-weep/
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
January 2000 - December 2015
Tilburg University
Position
  • Professor of Clinical Psycholoy - Emotions and Well-being

Publications

Publications (488)
Article
Only humans produce emotional tears, a fact that has been linked to triggering empathy, social bonding, and providing support in observers. Consequently, either the tears themselves play a crucial role in eliciting such behavior, or, alternatively, the negative context in which they are shed is responsible for these observers’ reactions. The presen...
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The Community Reinforcement Approach Happiness Scale (CRA-HS) is widely used for assessing the quality of life in addiction treatment, but the amount of research on the psychometric properties has been scant. The present study sought to (a) test for measurement invariance of the CRA-HS across college students (n = 3388) in five countries (i.e., Uni...
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Background: Whereas previous studies revealed positive effects of emotional expressions such as swearing and laughing on acute pain, systematic research on the effects of crying on pain is missing. The rationale for the current study is that either a mere emotional distraction or changes in oxytocin and opioid levels represent a mechanism through...
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This study compared the characteristics of 150 songs (Dutch lyrics, N = 47, English lyrics, N = 103), popular at Dutch funerals, to an equal number of non-funeral songs. The variables explored included those linked with the music (valence, energy, danceability, acousticness, key, and tempo); and lyrics, namely: linguistics-related (first-person sin...
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Emotional tears have been proposed to serve as a signal of distress, appeasement, and helplessness, which promotes prosocial responses in observers. They may also facilitate the perception of sadness. A still unanswered question is what information tears convey about emotional states when they are combined with different muscular facial expressions...
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Human emotional weeping, or crying, occurs in response to a wide array of antecedents. Although music is often mentioned specifically as a stimulus that may make individuals cry, few studies have systematically explored the characteristics of these crying episodes. The present study examines crying over music. Participants (N = 2778; 1716 women) co...
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Although several scholars acknowledge the existence of tears of joy, there is little systematic theoretical or empirical evidence on how positive tears are experienced, what elicits them, what actions or impulses they motivate in the crier, how they differ from tears of sadness or distress and whether there are different types. We systematically in...
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Tearful crying is a ubiquitous and likely uniquely human phenomenon. The persistence of this behavior throughout adulthood has fascinated and puzzled many researchers. Scholars have argued that emotional tears serve an attachment function: Tears are thought to act as a social glue by triggering social support intentions. Initial experimental studie...
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The goal of this clinical practice review is to assess the current state of the theoretical and empirical literature on emotional crying (i.e., crying in response to an emotional stimulus), a topic that has received surprisingly limited attention of behavioral scientists and clinicians. Although the empirical research on emotional crying remains in...
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Crying is a uniquely human behavior, the functions of which are at present not completely understood. We hypothesized that tears promote the perception of morally relevant traits and states such as sincerity, honesty, and remorse, which facilitate social bonding and we, therefore, predicted that tears would reduce the punishments proposed for trans...
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Tearful crying is a ubiquitous and mainly human phenomenon. The persistence of this behavior throughout adulthood has fascinated and puzzled many researchers. Scholars have argued that emotional tears serve an attachment function: Tears are thought to act as a social glue that binds individuals together and triggers social support intentions. Initi...
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Emotional tears are uniquely human and play an essential role in the communication of distress in adults. Several studies have shown that individuals are more willing to offer emotional support and help a person in tears. Preliminary evidence suggests that this greater willingness to provide support is mediated via perceived warmth and helplessness...
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Aim: Reward sensitivity affects individuals' motivation to engage in goal-directed behavior. Other concepts, critical for reward appraisal, that potentially influence activity participation encompass delay discounting and anhedonia. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that anhedonia and delay discounting influence the relationship bet...
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Various scholars have noted that the label “victim” frequently elicits connotations of stereotypical, passive femininity—especially when the crime entails rape or other forms of sexual violence. In three online experimental studies, British respondents were recruited to test whether written information about a sexual assault led observers to percei...
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We examined several aspects of the crying experiences of physicians and medical interns, including the most common reasons to cry in the workplace, and their perceptions of and attitudes towards crying in the workplace and in the presence of a patient. A sample of Dutch physicians and medical interns (Nphysicians = 1068 and Nmedical interns = 302 a...
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Mentalization deficits and disturbances in emotional functioning may contribute to somatization in patients with medically unexplained somatic symptoms (MUSS). The present study aimed to increase understanding the psychological factors that contribute to somatization by examining associations between attachment, crying attitudes and behavior, and s...
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This study aimed to (1) investigate the variation in self ascription to gender roles and attitudes toward gender roles across countries and its associations with crying behaviors, emotion change, and beliefs about crying and (2) understand how the presence of others affects our evaluations of emotion following crying. This was a large international...
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Objective: Nostalgia is a sentimental longing for one's past. We examined the hypotheses (rooted in attachment theory and research) that nostalgia prone individuals, by virtue of their greater attachment security, are more empathic and enact more prosocial behavior. Method: In five studies, testing 1923 participants (Nrange = 132-823, 52.42% wom...
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This research tested the hypothesis that emotional crying facilitates coping and recovery, specifically through physiological changes that occur during crying. Female undergraduate students (N = 197) were randomly assigned to either a sad or neutral condition using short videos. Sad videos were selected for their extreme emotion elicitation. We pre...
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Emotion dysregulation and hyperreactivity are considered central features of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). We assumed that such emotion dysregulation is also reflected in increased crying behavior of these patients and, consequently, hypothesized that BPD patients (N=62), compared to Cluster C personality disorder patients (Cluster C-PD; N...
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According to Linehan (1993), emotion dysregulation is a central feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). We hypothesized that patients with BPD are emotionally hyperresponsive. For BPD treatment, it is important to evaluate this hypothesis, because, if it is supported, therapeutic interventions could be designed to help patients to better...
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What are the social signals of emotional tears? This question has fascinated scholars ever since Darwin. Studies have suggested several interpersonal effects of emotional tears. A recent article presented evidence in three studies that tearful individuals are not only perceived as warmer but also less competent than their non-tearful counterparts....
Preprint
What are the social signals of emotional tears? This question has fascinated scholars ever since Darwin. Studies have suggested several interpersonal effects of emotional tears. A recent study by Van de Ven, Meijs, and Vingerhoets (2017) presented evidence in three studies that tearful individuals are perceived as warmer, but also less competent th...
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Emotional tears have been proposed to represent a robust affiliative signal whose main function is to promote the willingness to help the crying individual. However, little is known about the psychological mechanisms at the basis of such responses. To investigate whether tears facilitate approach relative to avoidance tendencies, we exposed partici...
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Nostalgia increases meaning in life, but how so? In four experiments—using varied operationalizations of nostalgia, diverse populations, and complementary methodologies—we identified a serial process. We hypothesized and found, in Experiment 1, that self‐continuity boosts meaning in life. We hypothesized and found, in Experiment 2, that nostalgia i...
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Introduction Despite consistently high discontinuation rates due to withdrawal of consent (WOC) and insufficient therapeutic effect (ITE) in schizophrenia trials, insight into the underlying factors contributing to poor satisfaction with treatment and dropout is limited. A better understanding of these factors could help to improve trial design and...
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English-speakers sometimes say that they feel moved to tears, emotionally touched, stirred, or that something warmed their heart; other languages use similar passive contact metaphors to refer to an affective state. We propose and measure the concept of kama muta to understand experiences often given these and other labels. Do the same experiences...
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The production of emotional tears appears to be uniquely present in Homo sapiens. Despite the ubiquity of this human behavior, research is only just beginning to uncover the neurobiologic underpinnings of human emotional crying. In this article, we review the current state of the literature investigating the neurobiologic aspects of this uniquely h...
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Negative observer reactions towards victims may be related to people’s expectations of the characteristics and demeanor of an ideal victim. We examined how expressed emotion, victim sex, and type of victimization influence observers’ perceptions of victim credibility, victim character, and harm. Our hypothesis was that angry victims, male victims,...
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Objective In this pilot study, we aimed to obtain a better insight into therapists’ experiences with and attitudes toward their own tears and those of their clients. Method Based on the crying literature and our clinical experiences of crying in therapy, we developed specific questions about therapist’ experiences with crying and two tailor-made m...
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Background: Placebo response is common in patients with major depressive disorder MDD) and decreases the likelihood of demonstrating drug superiority over placebo in a randomized, controlled trial (RCT). This paper aims to review the collective evidence for particular patient characteristics and trial features being associated with placebo response...
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In two experimental studies, we explored the role of attachment in predicting emotional reactivity after frustration induction. In the first study, using a cognitive frustration task, we examined in a college sample (N = 134) how attachment styles related to the experience and expression of emotions after frustration induction. In the second study,...
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Producing emotional tears is a universal and uniquely human behavior. Until recently, tears have received little serious attention from scientists. Here, we summarize recent theoretical developments and research findings. The evolutionary approach offers a solid ground for the analysis of the functions of tears. This is especially the case for infa...
Preprint
English-speakers sometimes say that they feel moved to tears, emotionally touched, stirred, or that something warmed their heart; other languages use similar passive contact metaphors to refer to an affective state. We propose and measure the concept of kama muta to understand experiences often given these and other labels. Do the same experiences...
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Objective: To evaluate the effect of haptotherapy during pregnancy on mother-child bonding (MCB). Population or Sample: Primigravida and multigravida (N = 73). Methods: Data were obtained from a randomized controlled trial study on treatment for severe fear of childbirth with haptotherapy. Fear of Childbirth (FOC) was evaluated using the Wijma Deli...
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Objective: To evaluate the effect of haptotherapy on severe fear of childbirth in pregnant women. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Community midwifery practices and a teaching hospital in the Netherlands. Population or Sample: Primi- and multigravida, suffering from severe fear of childbirth (N = 134). Methods: Haptotherapy, psycho-edu...
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Background: Maternal postpartum distress is often construed as a marker of vulnerability to poor parenting. Less is known, however, about the impact of postpartum distress on parenting an infant born prematurely. The present study investigated whether high distress levels, which are particularly prevalent in mothers of preterm born infants, necess...
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Objective Emotional crying is hypothesized to serve intra- and interpersonal functions. Intrapersonal functions are assumed to facilitate the capacity to recover from emotional distress, thus promoting well-being. Interpersonal functions are postulated to have a major impact on social functioning. We hypothesized that non-criers would have lower we...
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Abstract This experimental study examined if emotional experience can be manipulated by applying an emotion regulation strategy during music listening and if individual differences in effects of strategies can be explained by person characteristics. Adults (N = 466) completed questionnaires and rated emotions. They were randomly assigned to a condi...
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Objectives: The present study investigated deficiencies in different components of emotional intelligence in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Method: The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) were used to assess EI dimensions. BPD patients (N = 85; 69 women; M = 33.6 years) we...
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The current study examined behavioral and neural responses to infant and adult tears, taking into account childhood experiences with parental love-withdrawal. With functional MRI (fMRI), we measured neural reactivity to pictures of infants and adults with and without tears on their faces in nulliparous women with varying childhood experiences of ma...
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The present study was designed to examine the relationship between parentification and choice of education: Psychology versus humanities. Additionally, we investigated the association between parentification, on the one hand, and cognitive and affective empathy as well as resilience, on the other. The rational for this study was the increasing evid...
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Measures of spirituality often contain the dimension existential well-being (EWB). However, EWB has been found to overlap with emotional and psychological well-being. Using the Spiritual Attitude and Involvement List (SAIL), we have further investigated the overlap between aspects of spirituality and of well-being among patients with cancer, by det...
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The current fMRI study examines brain activity during the perception of infant and adult tears. Infant tears evoke stronger responses in the visual cortex than adult tears, indicating that infant tears are highly salient. In addition, our study shows that infant tears uniquely activate somatosensory pain regions, which could stimulate actions direc...
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Earlier research found that the mere sight of tears promotes the willingness to provide support to the person shedding the tears. Other research, however, found that deliberate responses towards tearful persons could be more negative as well. We think this is because tears have ambivalent effects on person perception: We predicted that tearful peop...
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Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for one’s past, is an emotion that arises from self-relevant and social memories. Nostalgia functions, in part, to foster self-continuity, that is, a sense of connection between one’s past and one’s present. This article examined, in six experiments, how nostalgia fosters self-continuity and the implications of that...
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The question what specific functions the production of emotional tears fulfills has received only limited attention of behavioral scientists. We report the results of two studies on the social impact of emotional tears. In Study 1 (96 Dutch females), perceived helplessness and felt connectedness predicted the willingness to help a person depicted a...
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The review summarizes the relevant literature regarding fear of childbirth. A substantial number of (pregnant) women are more or less afraid of childbirth and a significant minority; report a severe fear of childbirth. The focus will be on definition problems, its features, prevalence, assessment methods and measurements, determinants, consequences...
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Gelstein et al. reported the results of three experiments suggesting a dampening influence of inhalation of female emotional tears on males' arousal and perception of female sexual attractiveness, specifically in non-sexual situations. This prompted the hypothesis that crying exerts its influence on others not only via the auditory and visual mode...
Article
Even though music is widely used as a source of solace, the question as to how and why music offers consolation remains largely unexplored. The aims of the present study are as follows: (a) to compare listening to music versus other self-soothing behaviors, (b) to explore when music is used as a means for solace, (c) to identify aspects of music th...
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Whereas retrospective studies suggest that crying can be beneficial in terms of mood enhancement, results of quasi-experimental laboratory studies consistently demonstrate its negative effects on mood. The present study was specifically designed to evaluate a parsimonious explanation for this paradox by assessing mood after crying in a laboratory,...
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Objective: The present study examined whether early signs of maternal sensitivity can be detected during pregnancy by focusing on the maternal–fetal relationship and postnatal maternal sensitivity. Background: Earlier research has identified maternal sensitive behaviour as an important factor for the quality of the mother–infant relationship and th...
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SYNOPSIS: Objective. Relatively few studies have examined stability and/or change in the quality of parenting behaviors across the first years of a preterm infant’s life and how this course may differ from parents of term infants. Design. The present study examined the quality and stability of mother–infant and father–infant interaction across the...
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This study examined dimensions of crying and its relations with ocular dryness and mental well-being in patients with Sjögren's syndrome, a systemic autoimmune disease with dryness as primary symptom. Three-hundred patients with Sjögren's syndrome completed questionnaires on crying, dryness, and well-being. The crying questionnaire revealed four di...
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Until now, adult crying has received relatively little interest from investigators, whereas in the popular media there are many strong claims about crying (e.g., crying brings relief) of which the scientific basis is not clear. In this review, we provide an overview of the current state of the scientific literature with respect to crying. We identi...
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Disorders of consciousness are neurological conditions associated with low levels of functioning which pose a serious challenge to public health systems. The current study aimed to examine longitudinal changes in functioning in patients with disorders of consciousness and to identify associated biopsychosocial factors using the International Classi...
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OBJECTIVE : To examine the predictive value of parent, infant, and contextual factors related to preterm childbirth for later parenting behaviors. METHODS : Mothers (n = 217) and fathers (n = 204) of term, moderately preterm, and very preterm infants were interviewed 1 month postpartum using the Clinical Interview for Parents of high-risk infants (...
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Objective: This study examined the effectiveness of hospital-based Video Interaction Guidance (VIG; Eliëns, 2010; Kennedy, Landor, & Todd, 2011) for mothers and fathers of infants born preterm (25-37 weeks of gestation). Method: VIG is a preventive video-feedback intervention to support the parent-infant relationship. One hundred fifty families...
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Despite the knowledge that fathers uniquely contribute to the development of their infants, relatively few studies have focused on the father-infant relationship during early infancy. In the present longitudinal study we included 189 fathers and examined whether their early attachment representations of the infant predicted future quality of father...
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Background About six percent of pregnant women suffer from severe fear of childbirth. These women are at increased risk of obstetric labour and delivery interventions and pre- and postpartum complications, e.g., preterm delivery, emergency caesarean section, caesarean section at maternal request, severe postpartum fear of childbirth and trauma anxi...
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This study examined people’s nonverbal reactions to being excluded during a social interaction. According to the ‘numbness hypothesis’, individuals who are being excluded may not display overt signs of distress but may lack in emotion and appear lethargic or numb instead. Nevertheless, the validity of this hypothesis has recently been questioned. I...
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Nostalgia is a frequently-experienced complex emotion, understood by laypersons in the United Kingdom and United States of America to (1) refer prototypically to fond, self-relevant, social memories and (2) be more pleasant (e.g., happy, warm) than unpleasant (e.g., sad, regretful). This research examined whether people across cultures conceive of...