It has long been a mystery to men why so many women enjoy watching tear jerker movies with their friends.
But now scientists have come up with a suggestion – sharing sad emotions helps women bond.
A research team at Cardiff University found that by sharing their emotions women found the happy parts of films more joyful and the sad bits less sad.
Job van der Schalk, a psychologist at Cardiff University, said: ‘Our findings suggest that a negative emotional experience such as watching a ‘weepy’ is more positive when it is shared with a friend.
‘And, at the same time, a positive emotional experience, such as watching a ‘romcom’, should equally be more pleasant when shared.’
The study involved 30 pairs of female friends aged between 20 and 33 who were shown emotionally powerful images and asked to rate them on a scale from ‘very negative’ to ‘very positive’.
这次研究的对象为30对年龄在20到33岁的女性朋友，研究人员让她们观看产生强烈情感的影像，让她们把看到的影像按照从 “非常消极”到 “非常积极”的程度进行评价。
The scientists put one of each pair in a brain scanner to monitor their reactions, and the volunteers were also asked to view and rate the images while on their own and also while together.
The researchers found the images were seen more positively when the pairs were together, The Sunday Times reported.
The study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, said: ‘When people go to the cinema to watch a film, they ... anticipate a positive subjective impact of sharing this emotional experience.’
And Hollywood success seems to back the theory.
The 2008 film Marley and Me, which surrounds a couple’s relationship with their dog, took £160m at the global box office, and last year’s film The Fault in Our Stars - about two teenage cancer patients who find love - took more than £200m.
Aggie Romeril, 22, a London beauty manager, said: ‘I think we’re a “stream it and weep” age. You scroll through Netflix, find who’s got the biggest laptop and bundle into a housemate’s bed for a sob session.’