Title

Reducing social pain: Sex differences in the impact of physical pain relievers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2014

Publication Title

Personal Relationships

Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

There is evidence that social pain or “hurt feelings” and physical pain share the same neural system. Although researchers have found that a physical pain reliever can reduce social pain, studies suggest that sex differences may influence these findings. Our results indicate that women who took ibuprofen felt less hurt or social pain when they were excluded from a game and when they relived a painful experience than did women who took a placebo. Men who took the pain reliever, by contrast, felt more hurt in both situations than did those who took the placebo. Further, the sex difference revealed in men's and women's ratings of their social pain was reflected in their open-ended verbal descriptions of social and physical pain.

Volume

21

Issue

2

pp.

349-363

ISSN

1350-4126