Social Modulation of Pain in Human Subjects: Effects of Empathy on Pain Perception

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Social Modulation of Pain in Human Subjects: Effects of Empathy on Pain Perception

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Title: Social Modulation of Pain in Human Subjects: Effects of Empathy on Pain Perception
Author: Shafi, Heather
Advisor: Sternberg, Wendy
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 280605 bytes
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of two social groups (romantic partners and best friends) on pain perception. Subjects underwent baseline and experimental pain testing days with the same procedure except subjects were primed with watching their romantic partner, best friend, or a stranger in pain during the experimental day. We hypothesized that romantic partners would have the most amount of empathy (measured by a state empathy scale) from watching their partner in pain, followed by best friends, and then strangers. From this hypothesis, we expected romantic partners, followed by best friends and strangers, to show enhanced pain perceptions (measured from unpleasantness and intensity ratings) in a cold pressor test, heat threshold test, and heat suprathreshold test. The specific group hypotheses were not confirmed, however, state empathy ratings were correlated with pain ratings in general, which lead us to believe if our empathy eliciting manipulation had been more effective, we may have seen the expected results.
Subject: Pain -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Pain -- Effect of empathy on
Subject: Interpersonal relations -- Psychological aspects
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1058

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Citation

Shafi, Heather. "Social Modulation of Pain in Human Subjects: Effects of Empathy on Pain Perception". 2007. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1058.

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