Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? Ostracism-Induced Physical Pain Sensitization in Real-Life Relationships

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Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? Ostracism-Induced Physical Pain Sensitization in Real-Life Relationships

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Title: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? Ostracism-Induced Physical Pain Sensitization in Real-Life Relationships
Author: Dickinson, Annelise
Advisor: Sternberg, Wendy
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: In humans, social and physical pain are believed to arise from common neural networks, an evolutionarily advantageous system for motivating prosocial behavior. As such, the hypothesis that social insult can sensitize physical pain perception was investigated in the context of real-life relationships. The social value ascribed to the source of virtual ostracism, the closeness of the relationship, and individual personality characteristics were expected to modulate the impact of social rejection upon physical pain reports. Romantic partners, friends, and strangers were all led to believe that their partners were excluding them from an online ball-tossing game, and pain sensitivity changes from baseline were assessed following this manipulation. Results indicated that ostracism by a relationship partner leads to an increase in cold pain tolerance, that romantic partners report more cold pain unpleasantness than friends following social rejection, and that trait sensitivity to social insult predicts physical pain sensitivity in general. The findings suggest that within the context of real-life relationships, the social rejection as an agent of influence upon pain behavior may not operate as cleanly as previously believed, and that further research in this area is definitely warranted. Results are interpreted with respect to several theories of social and physical pain behaviors, and suggestions for future studies are highlighted.
Subject: Pain -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Social isolation -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Interpersonal relations -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Social isolation -- Physiological aspects
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/3592

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Dickinson, Annelise. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? Ostracism-Induced Physical Pain Sensitization in Real-Life Relationships". 2009. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/3592.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/