Friday, November 13, 2009

Partner photographs can reduce experimentally induced pain

Master et al. make the not very suprising yet interesting observation that the known pain-attenuating effects of social support can be observed by merely activating the mental representation of a supportive other. Simply viewing a loved one's picture can have pain-attenuating effects, a finding which fits with social psychological research showing that being primed with a social construct is enough to activate associated mental representations and to bias behavior. Simple reminders of loved ones, apart from actual supportive social interactions, appear to be sufficient to engender feelings of support.

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