MURRAY, Ky. — Tommy DeRossett, Brighton Hollingsworth and Quinn Lambert, three undergraduate psychology students at Murray State University, along with faculty mentor Dr. Daniel Wann, were interviewed by Fatherly.com, an online parenting resource, about research they conducted on perceptions of men crying over sporting events.

Working under the direction of their research mentors in the department of psychology, Dr. Daniel Wann, Dr. Jana Hackathorn and Dr. Sean Rife, the students and other members of their research team — Kaylee Noel, Morgan Owens, Kendrick Settler and Meagan Smith — investigated adults’ attitudes toward people crying.

The team found that acceptance depended on the circumstances and types of events. Although, in general, it was more acceptable for women to cry than men, people were much more accepting of men crying in response to negative sporting events that were not performance related, such as a player’s injury or the retirement of a coach, than either performance-related sporting outcomes, like winning or losing a game, or daily life events, including the birth of a child or a death in the family.

In addition to their work being featured on Fatherly.com, the research team has presented the results of their study at the Kentucky Psychological Association’s Spring Academic Conference, the WKU Sport Psychology Forum and Murray State’s Scholars Week. The students are also currently writing the project for submission to a peer-reviewed academic journal.

“The department of psychology has a long tradition of encouraging undergraduate students to conduct independent research under the direction of our faculty. The work done by these students continues this tradition,” Wann said. “The fact that this project has gained the attention of the national media speaks to the high quality and social importance of the work these students conducted. The other two project directors and I are extremely proud of the work and effort put forth by these students, and we have enjoyed watching them learn about the professional side of research within our discipline.”

Students sit together at a conference.
Members of the research team, including (from left to right) Tommy DeRossett, Kendrick Settler, Quinn Lambert, Kaylee Noel, Morgan Owens and Brighton Hollingsworth, discuss their project during Murray State’s Scholars Week. Not pictured is Meagan Smith.