Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

We discount the pain of people we don't like

Date:
October 4, 2011
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
If a patient is not likeable, will he or she be taken less seriously when exhibiting or complaining about pain? Researchers have found that observers of patients estimate lower pain intensity and are perceptually less sympathetic to the patients' pain when the patients are not liked.

If a patient is not likeable, will he or she be taken less seriously when exhibiting or complaining about pain? Reporting in the October 2011 issue of Painฎ, researchers have found that observers of patients estimate lower pain intensity and are perceptually less sympathetic to the patients' pain when the patients are not liked.

40 study participants (17 men and 23 women) were preconditioned by viewing pictures of six different patients tagged with simple descriptions that ranged from negative (egoistic, hypocritical, or arrogant) to neutral (true to tradition, reserved, or conventional) to positive (faithful, honest, or friendly). After this preconditioning process, participants observed short videos of the patients undergoing a standardized physiotherapy assessment. The six patients observed were experiencing shoulder pain and eight short video fragments (2 seconds in duration) of each were selected, resulting in 48 different fragments. After each video fragment, the participants were asked to rate the severity of pain of the patients on a scale of "no pain" to "pain as bad as could be." Afterwards, the participants were also asked to judge the patients to be negative or positive, disagreeable or agreeable, and unsympathetic or sympathetic.

Investigators found that participants rated patients associated with negative traits as less likeable than patients associated with neutral traits. They rated patients associated with neutral traits as less likable than patients associated with positive traits. Further, pain of disliked patients expressing high intensity pain was estimated as less intense than pain of liked patients expressing high intensity pain. Furthermore, observers were less perceptually sensitive toward pain of negatively evaluated patients than to pain of positively evaluated patients, i.e. they were less able to discriminate between different levels of pain expressed by the disliked patients.

"Identifying variables that influence pain estimation by others is relevant as pain estimation might influence crucial actions concerning pain management both in the professional context as well as in the everyday environment," commented lead investigator Liesbet Goubert, PhD, assistant professor of Health Psychology and co-investigator Geert Crombez, PhD, head of the Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Belgium. "Our results suggest that pain of disliked patients who express high pain is taken less seriously by others. This could imply less helping behavior by others as well as poorer health outcomes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lies De Ruddere, Liesbet Goubert, Ken Martin Prkachin, Michael Andr้ Louis Stevens, Dimitri Marcel Leon Van Ryckeghem, Geert Crombez. When you dislike patients, pain is taken less seriously. PAIN, 2011; 152 (10): 2342 DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2011.06.028

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "We discount the pain of people we don't like." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132439.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2011, October 4). We discount the pain of people we don't like. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132439.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "We discount the pain of people we don't like." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132439.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins