涙眼鏡 / Teardrop glasses: Pseudo Tears Induce Sadness in You and Those Around You

30 sec ver.: https://youtu.be/yCkBQ_eBfJo
Presentation: https://youtu.be/eRjJvT_rBEY


Emotional contagion is a phenomenon in which one’s emotions are transmitted among individuals unconsciously by observing others’ emotional expressions. In this paper, we propose a method for mediating people’s emotions by triggering emotional contagion through artificial bodily changes such as pseudo tears. We focused on shedding tears because of the link to several emotions besides sadness. In addition, it is expected that shedding tears would induce emotional contagion because it is observable by others. We designed an eyeglasses-style wearable device, Teardrop glasses, that release water drops near the wearer’s eyes. The drops flow down the cheeks and emulate real tears. The study revealed that artificial crying with pseudo tears increased sadness among both wearers and those observing them. Moreover, artificial crying attenuated happiness and positive feelings in observers. Our findings show that actual bodily changes are not necessary for inducing emotional contagion as artificial bodily changes are also sufficient.


Theories of Emotions

The mechanism of how we feel emotions has been studied for a long time and various theories have been proposed and discussed throughout history. These theories of emotions share a similar notion that emotions are triggered by recognizing changes in one’s own body.

Moreover, the bodily changes of others also influence our minds. A phenomenon in which emotion is unconsciously and instantly transmitted among people is known as emotional contagion. This is caused by observing another person’s bodily changes or other emotional expressions, which are physical manifestations of one’s emotions.

Based on the theories of emotions, we came up with an idea to mediate the emotional experiences of multiple people by presenting the artificial bodily changes (pseudo tears in this work) in one person and letting others around him/her observe the artificial bodily changes.




Design of Teardrop glasses

We focused on shedding tears as a trigger of emotional contagion. Then, we developed a wearable device similar to eyeglasses called Teardrop glasses. This device places water drops near the inner corners of the user’s eyes, but not in the eyes owing to hygiene considerations. The water subsequently rolls down the wearer’s cheeks.



Shigeo Yoshida, Takuji Narumi, Tomohiro Tanikawa, Hideaki Kuzuoka, and Michitaka Hirose. 2021. Teardrop Glasses: Pseudo Tears Induce Sadness in You and Those Around You. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’21), May 8–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 14 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3411764.3445741

Yu Liang, Kazuma Shimokawa, Shigeo Yoshida, Eriko Sugimori. 2020. What “Tears” Remind Us of: An Investigation of Embodied Cognition and Schizotypal Personality Trait Using Pencil and Teardrop Glasses, Frontiers in Psychology, Vol.10, Jan. 2020. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02826

猪石有希, 吉田成朗, 谷川智洋, 寺澤悠理, 梅田聡: 流涙が情動表出と抑制機能に与える効果―涙眼鏡を用いた検討―, 第37回日本生理心理学会大会, 2019年5月


涙眼鏡, Cyber Interface Lab Exhibition "Cybernetic Minds", 東京大学, 2017年2月28日 link

涙眼鏡, 東京大学制作展 extra 2016, 東京大学, 2016年7月8日-7月11日 link

涙眼鏡, SENSORS IGNITION 2016, 虎ノ門ヒルズ, 2016年2月26日 link

Teardrop glasses, Ars Electronica 2015, Austria Linz, Sep. 3-7, 2015. link

涙眼鏡, 東京大学制作展 EXTRA 2015, 東京大学, 2015年7月10日-7月13日 link

涙眼鏡, 第15回 東京大学制作展, 東京大学, 2013年12月4日-12月9日 link


Asia Digital Art Award FUKUOKA 入賞, 2021年10月24日 link

第20回学生CGコンテスト ノミネート, 2014年11月 link


The paper, presentation slides, and videos in this page can be used under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Paper (9.4MB)

Video (30sec, 58.8MB)

Presentation slides (13.7MB)


Photo and Film: Akira Nomoto

Music: Tomikazu Karl Saegusa

Development Support: Takafumi Oyake and Kasumi Yajima.


We would like to thank Michiteru Kitazaki, Daisuke Sakamoto, and Takafumi Oyake for their insightful comments and discussions. We thank Toshihiko Fukushima for letting Shigeo know how to use Projet 3D printer and Keiko Fujii for opening the shared workshop when Shigeo didn't have the key to open the workshop. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP14J09015 and JP16K12471.