Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

2020 Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Sadness

  • Philippe VerduynEmail author
  • Maxime Résibois
  • Karlijn Massar
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24612-3_550

Synonyms

Definition

Sadness is a negatively valenced emotion characterized by low arousal and considered one of the basic emotions.

Introduction

Why are humans capable of experiencing negative emotions like sadness? An evolutionary perspective on emotions holds that the physiological, psychological, and behavioral characteristics of emotions should be seen as evolved features that have been useful to humans at some point during evolutionary history. In particular, individuals equipped with a genetic makeup that enabled them to experience certain emotions in response to specific stimuli or situations were better able to cope with and respond to recurring challenges and opportunities which, in turn, increased their reproductive success.

The evolutionary benefits of some emotions may seem more straightforward compared to those of other emotions. In particular, whereas one can readily see the benefits of emotions such as anger...

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Verduyn
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maxime Résibois
    • 2
  • Karlijn Massar
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Work and Social PsychologyMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monika Wróbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland