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Why do people yell and scream? Swiss researchers saw videos of female fans screaming at a Beatles concert many years ago. Since the fans were not afraid, they decided to study these positive screams. The researchers found six basic types of screams exist: pain, anger, fear, sadness, passion and joy. They believe that some screams, such as screams of fear or pain, are meant to alert others. But the positive screams, like joy, are not about alerting others. They may be about bonding with others. They are a way to share the emotion of an experience. *
Think about attending a sports event. When you are with a crowd of fans and they yell and scream, you likely join in as well. It is a shared expression of emotion, whether with angry boos or cheers of joy.
This shared expression of joy may be what David was urging in Psalm 33:3 when he said, “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” (NIV)
Joy is always expressed. Think about scenes of joy you have experienced. Often people shout. It may be a word, such as alright or yeah. At other times it is just a yell or scream of delight. We should also express our joy by lifting our voices to praise God. As Psalm 47:1 says, “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” (NIV)
*Mehek Mazhar, “Why do people shout for joy? New study looks at the psychology of human screams,” CBC Radio, April 21, 2021, https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-the-tuesday-edition-1.5994735/why-do-people-shout-for-joy-new-study-looks-at-the-psychology-of-human-screams-1.5994738
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