Friday, August 29, 2008

Emotional Pain Hurts More Than Physical Pain, Researchers Say

Pain caused by emotional distress is felt more deeply and lasts longer tan pain caused by physical injuries, a new study has found out.

Study participants in the emotional pain condition reported higher levels of pain than participants in the physical pain condition, found the researchers. In an experiment that involved giving participants cognitive tasks after reliving a socially or physically painful event, those in the emotional pain condition performed worse than those thinking about physical injury.

One of the authors, Dr Kip Williams from Purdue, said: "While both types of pain can hurt very much at the time they occur, social pain has the unique ability to come back over and over again, whereas physical pain lingers only as an awareness that it was indeed at one time painful. Why aren't we always suffering pain by recollections of social betrayal and other forms of social pain? Because we are pretty good at keeping these memories at bay." via

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