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Sadness is an emotion characterized by feelings of disadvantage, loss, helplessness, sorrow, and rage. When sad, people often become outspoken, less energetic, and emotional.

Sadness can be viewed as a temporary lowering of mood, whereas depression is characterized by a persistent and intense lowered mood, as well as disruption to one's ability to function in day to day matters.


Sadness is an unpleasant emotion that has been medicalized.[1] People who express sadness, such as after the death of a parent or child, are often told that they should seek medical care rather than being reassured that it is a normal response to loss.

Pupil empathy

Facial expressions of sadness with small pupils are judged significantly more intensely sad with decreasing pupil size. A person's own pupil size also mirrors this with them being smaller when viewing sad faces with small pupils. No parallel effect exists when people look at neutral, happy or angry expressions.[2] The greater degree to which a person's pupils mirror another predicts a person's greater score on empathy.[3]

See also



Further reading


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