• Pain · Feb 2013

    Randomized Controlled Trial

    Impact of being primed with social deception upon observer responses to others' pain.

    • Lies De Ruddere, Liesbet Goubert, Tine Vervoort, Judith Kappesser, and Geert Crombez.
    • Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Lies.DeRuddere@Ugent.be
    • Pain. 2013 Feb 1;154(2):221-6.

    AbstractThis study examined whether priming with social deception affects responses (pain estimates, self-reported sympathy, inclination to help) towards others' pain. We further explored whether the priming effect is mediated by the valence of the patients (positive/negative), as indicated by the participants. First, participants (N=55) took part in an 'independent' delayed memory study in which they read either a neutral text about the use of the health care system (neutral condition) or a text about its misuse (social deception condition). Second, participants watched videos of pain patients performing pain-inducing activities. Participants rated the patients' pain, the sympathy felt for the patients, and the inclination to help the patients. Third, the participants re-estimated patients' pain when patients' self-report of pain was provided. Fourth, pictures of the patients were shown and participants indicated the valence of the patients (positive/negative). Results revealed no direct effect of priming with social deception. However, priming with social deception was related to less positive rating of the valence of the patients, that were related to lower ratings on pain and sympathy, and to larger discrepancies between the ratings of the patients and the observers. The results indicate that observers attribute less pain, feel less sympathy, and take patients' self-reported pain intensity less into account when the patients are evaluated less positively, which is likely to occur when a cognitive scheme of social deception is primed.Copyright © 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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