Washington: It seems crying sometimes is good for you -- it can boost your self-esteem and give you a mental edge, scientists say.
Researchers at the Indiana University-Bloomington in theUS found that college football players who think it`s "ok" to cry after losing a big game, have higher self-esteem than
those tough-guy players who say tears are a "no-no".
The researchers also found that players who show physicalaffection toward their teammates are happier.
The team wanted to know how gender stereotypes aboutcrying affect football players and how their beliefs regarding emotion on the field influence other aspects of their lives,
They surveyed 150 collegiate football players about their perceptions of crying after they were randomly assigned to read four different scenarios about a player who cried.
In the first scenario the player, named Jack, teared up after losing a critical game; in the second, he sobbed after losing, with "tears flowing continuously down his face"; in
the third, he tears up after winning; and in the fourth, he sobs after winning.
Students tended to think tearing up after losing a game was typical and appropriate for a football player. However, they didn`t accept sobbing as an appropriate reaction in the
losing situation. The players also said they would be more likely to tear up than sob if they were in Jack`s place.
The study, published in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity, also showed that the group that read a story in which Jack sobs after losing a game asserted that his reaction was more typical among football players than the group that read a story in which Jack sobs after his team won the game.
In a second experiment, 153 football players, who were also mostly white and had an average age of 19, answered questions regarding whether they felt pressured by society to
act powerful and competitive while displaying little emotion and affection in front of other men.
The researchers also questioned the subjects about their overall life satisfaction and the ways in which they expressed emotions on and off the field.
The results showed that football players do feel pressure to conform to gender roles when it comes to expressing emotion, but also found that players who were never showed
affection toward their teammates were less satisfied with their lives.
"Overall, college football players who strive to be stronger and are emotionally expressive are more likely to have a mental edge on and off the field," study co-author
Jesse Steinfeldt said in a release.