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06 Dec
Dissertation Defense-Lauren Ross
Event Type

Defenses

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

University Unit
Department of Psychology
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Dissertation Defense-Lauren Ross

This is a past event.

The social modulation of pain: A mediation model with shared reality and emotion

Physical pain is a ubiquitous human experience with complexities spanning from physical to psychological domains. Though pain has historically been thought of as a physical and sensory process, the modern definition of pain now includes cognitive, social and emotional factors (Craig, 2002; iasp-pain.org/terminology; Williams & Craig, 2016), indicating growing appreciation of the impact of broader psychological context on people’s pain experiences. Support for this distinction comes from literatures exploring the many constructs proposed to moderate or mediate pain experience through psychological channels. In the pain literature social contact, which can include interactions with others, the mere presence of another person, or even the perceived presence of another person, often predicts reduced perceptions of acute experimental pain. However, this association is not always present and, at times, social contact enhances perceived pain (Che, Cash, Chung, Fitzgerald, & Fitzgibbon, 2018a; Che, Cash, Ng, Fitzgerald, & Fitzgibbon, 2018b; Krahé, Springer, Weinman, & Fotopoulou, 2013). The mixed influence of social contact may suggest that, in the face of pain, not all social contact is created equal. A parallel literature investigating the influence of emotion on pain perception demonstrates that modulating positive and negative emotion can more consistently predict pain outcomes, such that increasing positive emotion reduces perceived pain, while increasing negative emotion increases perceived pain (e.g., Zelman, Howland, Nichols, & Cleeland, 1991). Therefore it was hypothesized that emotion modulation resulting from social contact may predict perceived pain. Shared reality, the experience of validating one’s perception of reality through social contact, has been theorized to modulate emotion (Echterhoff, Higgins & Levine, 2009). Therefore the current work investigated sharing reality as a key moderator of the relationship between social contact and perceived pain. It was predicted that social contact involving shared reality would reduce perceived pain during a cold pressor task by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive emotions. Although hypotheses were not supported in the present study, it is hoped that this work inspires future research on the effect of shared reality on emotion and pain perception that will eventually elucidate interventions for pain reduction.

 

Dial-In Information

Please contact Graduate Administrator: frs38@pitt.edu for Zoom link. 

Monday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Dissertation Defense-Lauren Ross

The social modulation of pain: A mediation model with shared reality and emotion

Physical pain is a ubiquitous human experience with complexities spanning from physical to psychological domains. Though pain has historically been thought of as a physical and sensory process, the modern definition of pain now includes cognitive, social and emotional factors (Craig, 2002; iasp-pain.org/terminology; Williams & Craig, 2016), indicating growing appreciation of the impact of broader psychological context on people’s pain experiences. Support for this distinction comes from literatures exploring the many constructs proposed to moderate or mediate pain experience through psychological channels. In the pain literature social contact, which can include interactions with others, the mere presence of another person, or even the perceived presence of another person, often predicts reduced perceptions of acute experimental pain. However, this association is not always present and, at times, social contact enhances perceived pain (Che, Cash, Chung, Fitzgerald, & Fitzgibbon, 2018a; Che, Cash, Ng, Fitzgerald, & Fitzgibbon, 2018b; Krahé, Springer, Weinman, & Fotopoulou, 2013). The mixed influence of social contact may suggest that, in the face of pain, not all social contact is created equal. A parallel literature investigating the influence of emotion on pain perception demonstrates that modulating positive and negative emotion can more consistently predict pain outcomes, such that increasing positive emotion reduces perceived pain, while increasing negative emotion increases perceived pain (e.g., Zelman, Howland, Nichols, & Cleeland, 1991). Therefore it was hypothesized that emotion modulation resulting from social contact may predict perceived pain. Shared reality, the experience of validating one’s perception of reality through social contact, has been theorized to modulate emotion (Echterhoff, Higgins & Levine, 2009). Therefore the current work investigated sharing reality as a key moderator of the relationship between social contact and perceived pain. It was predicted that social contact involving shared reality would reduce perceived pain during a cold pressor task by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive emotions. Although hypotheses were not supported in the present study, it is hoped that this work inspires future research on the effect of shared reality on emotion and pain perception that will eventually elucidate interventions for pain reduction.

 

Dial-In Information

Please contact Graduate Administrator: frs38@pitt.edu for Zoom link. 

Monday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Event Type

Defenses

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

University Unit
Department of Psychology

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