Dreading pain can be worse than pain itself
When pain is inevitable, most people would rather experience it immediately than having to wait for it, according to new research.
Researchers from the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) recruited 35 volunteers to participate in a study examining peoples’ anticipation of pain. Participants had to choose between electric shocks of various intensities, occurring at different times.
The scientists found that 71 percent of the volunteers preferred to experience the electric shocks sooner rather than later. Most of the volunteers also said that they would rather experience more severe pain sooner than prolonging the wait.
The findings, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, suggest that people prefer getting painful experiences out of the way if anticipating pain makes them more anxious.