42 research outputs found

    Hide your pain : social threat increases pain reports and aggression, but reduces facial pain expression and empathy

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    Earlier research studying the effects of social threat on the experience and expression of pain led to mixed results. In this study, female participants (N = 32) came to the lab with 2 confederates. Both confederates administered a total of 10 painful electrocutaneous stimuli to the participant. The framing of the administration was manipulated in a within-subjects design: In the low social threat condition the participant was told that the confederate could choose between 10 and 20 pain stimuli, thus they believed that this confederate chose to administer the minimum allowed number of pain stimuli. In the high social threat condition the confederate had a choice between 1 and 10 stimuli, thus they believed that this confederate chose to administer the maximum allowed number of stimuli. Participants reported on the intensity, unpleasantness, and threat value of the painful stimuli, and their facial expression was recorded. Moreover, aggression and empathy toward the confederates were assessed. As hypothesized, participants reported increased pain intensity, unpleasantness, and threat in the high social threat condition compared to the low social threat condition, but showed less facial pain expression. Finally, participants exhibited increased aggression and reduced empathy toward the confederate in the high social threat condition. Perspective: Social threat reduces painful facial expression, but simultaneously increases pain reports, leading to a double burden of the person in pain. Additionally, social threat affected social relationships by increasing aggression and reducing empathy for the other

    "What can her body do?" Reducing weight stigma by appreciating another person's body functionality.

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    Objective Weight stigma is prevalent across multiple life domains, and negatively affects both psychological and physical health. Yet, research into weight stigma reduction techniques is limited, and rarely results in reduced antipathy toward higher-weight individuals. The current pre-registered study investigated a novel weight stigma reduction intervention. We tested whether a writing exercise focusing on body functionality (i.e., everything the body can do, rather than how it looks) of another person leads to reductions in weight stigma. Method Participants were 98 women (Mage = 23.17, Range = 16–63) who viewed a photograph of a higher-weight woman, “Anne,” and were randomised to complete a writing exercise either describing what “Anne’s” body could do (experimental group) or describing her home (active control group). Facets of weight stigma were assessed at pretest and posttest. Results At posttest, the experimental group evidenced higher fat acceptance and social closeness to “Anne” compared with the active control group. However, no group differences were found in attribution complexity, responsibility, and likeability of “Anne”. Conclusions A brief body functionality intervention effectively reduced some, but not all, facets of weight stigma in women. This study provides evidence that functionality-focused interventions may hold promise as a means to reduce weight stigma

    Competing goals attenuate avoidance behavior in the context of pain

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    Current fear-avoidance models consider pain-related fear as a crucial factor in the development of chronic pain. However, pain-related fear often occurs in a context of multiple, competing goals. This study investigated whether pain-related fear and avoidance behavior are attenuated when individuals are faced with a pain avoidance goal and another valued but competing goal, operationalized as obtaining a monetary reward. Fifty-five healthy participants moved a joystick toward different targets. In the experimental condition, a movement to one target (conditioned stimulus [CS+]) was followed by a painful unconditioned stimulus (pain-US) and a rewarding unconditioned stimulus (reward-US) on 50% of the trials, whereas the other movement (nonreinforced conditioned stimulus [CS)) movement was not. In the control condition, the CS+ movement was followed by the pain-US only. Results showed that pain-related fear was elevated in response to the CS+ compared to the CS movement, but that it was not influenced by the reward-US. Interestingly, participants initiated a CS+ movement slower than a CS movement in the control condition but not in the experimental condition. Also, in choice trials, participants performed the CS+ movement more frequently in the experimental than in the control condition. These results suggest that the presence of a valued competing goal can attenuate avoidance behavior. Perspective: The current study provides experimental evidence that both pain and competing goals impact on behavioral decision making and avoidance behavior. These results provide experimental support for treatments of chronic pain that include an individual's pursuit of valuable daily life goals, rather than limiting focus to pain reduction only. (C) 2014 by the American Pain Societ

    Fear of Movement-related Pain and Associative Learning

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    According to the fear-avoidance model of chronic pain, pain-related fear is of great importance in the development and maintenance of chronic pain problems. It is a major contributor to severe dysfunction as it leads to avoidance behaviors and impaired physical activity. However, although there is empirical support for the importance of associative learning in the acquisition of fear of movement-related pain, no study thus far as investigated the importance of a social dimension in this fear acquisition process. A key concept in this context is Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer (PIT), suggesting that stimuli that are predictive of specific outcomes (Pavlovian conditioning) bias the performance of instrumental responses that are associated with the same outcomes (Instrumental conditioning). The goal of the proposed series of studies is to investigate the effect of social context on the acquisition of fear of movement-related pain.Poster to present project proposalstatus: publishe

    Hell is other people: On the importance of social context in pain research

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    The Enduring Mystery of Pain in a Social Context

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