I have been reading studies about how people react when they see others in pain. Why are these types of studies important?
Scientists - and others - are curious about human nature, what makes us tick and why. Of many emotions and experiences that aren't understood, the feeling and perception of pain is one of the most curious.
The drive to understand human reactions to pain, for many researchers, is aimed to help us better control pain. The idea is if the researchers can understand what causes the pain and what makes it worse, they can find ways to ease the pain, if not prevent it completely.
So far, many connections have been found between how people perceive pain and how they feel it. With this knowledge, researchers can work on ways to help ease pain by helping people see it or perceive it differently.
Marco L. Loggia, Jeffrey S. Mogi, M. Catherine Bushnell. Empathy Hurts: Compassion for another increases both sensory and affective components of pain perception. In Pain. May 2008. Vol. 136. No. 1-2. Pp. 168-176.
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