Popularity impact on pain

These are the findings of a study in which 40 participants were given snippets of information about the personalities of six patients, and then watched video clips of the patients undergoing a physiotherapy assessment. Participants were later asked to rate the patients’ likability, and to estimate their levels of pain.

Researchers found a strong correlation between patient likability and how seriously others took their complaints of severe pain. The participants consistently estimated less intense levels of pain for the disliked patients expressing high intensity of pain, compared with the likeable patients who also expressed high intensity pain. They were also less perceptually sensitive to different levels of pain expressed by disliked patients. 

Pain 2011; 152(10):2342-47