Reading words hurts: The impact of pain sensitivity on people's ratings of pain-related words

Reuter, Kevin (2016). Reading words hurts: The impact of pain sensitivity on people's ratings of pain-related words. Language and Cognition, 9(03), pp. 553-567. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/langcog.2016.29

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This study explores the relation between pain sensitivity and the cognitive processing of words. 130 participants evaluated the pain-relatedness of a total of 600 two-syllabic nouns, and subsequently reported on their own pain sensitivity. The results demonstrate that pain-sensitive people associate words more strongly with pain than less sensitive people. In particular, concrete nouns like syringe, wound, knife, and cactus, are considered to be more pain- related for those who are more pain-sensitive. These findings dovetail with recent studies suggesting that certain bodily characteristics influence the way people form mental representations (Casasanto, 2009). We discuss three mechanisms which could potentially account for our findings: attention and memory bias, prototype analysis, and embodied cognition. We argue that whereas none of these three accounts can be ruled out, the embodied cognition hypothesis provides a particularly promising view to accommodate our data.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy > Theoretical Philosophy

UniBE Contributor:

Reuter, Kevin

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1866-9808

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Kevin Reuter

Date Deposited:

20 Jun 2017 07:44

Last Modified:

13 Aug 2017 02:13

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/langcog.2016.29

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.98809

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/98809

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