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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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