The Effects of Athletic Competition and Cooperation on Analgesia

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Title: The Effects of Athletic Competition and Cooperation on Analgesia
Author: Hammerschlag, Leah
Advisor: Sternberg, Wendy
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: There are robust findings that the biological phenomenon of analgesia, induced by stress, is activated during athletic competition. The purpose of the current study was to examine which aspects of athletic competition induce the greatest analgesic response. Experimental conditions included a head-to-head competitive exercise, a cooperative exercise, an isolated exercise, and a control condition. Subjects' pain sensitivities were tested prior to and post manipulation, using cold pressor and thermal scaling. Additionally, heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels were measured prior to and post manipulation to assess stress response activation. We hypothesized the competitive condition would elicit the greatest analgesic response, followed by the isolated, and cooperative conditions. Although we did not find a significant effect of condition on analgesic responses, replicating this study with altered primes for manipulations should reveal competitive conditions have more pronounced analgesic responses.
Subject: Cooperativeness -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Competition (Psychology)
Subject: Pain -- Psychological aspects
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Hammerschlag, Leah. "The Effects of Athletic Competition and Cooperation on Analgesia". 2012. Available electronically from

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