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Lecture 6

PSY333H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Corneal Reflex, Pharyngeal Reflex, Pain Tolerance

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Nevena Simic

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June 25, 2011
Lecture 6 - Pain
Case Study: Miss C.
1.Normally developed (average intelligence)
2.Never felt pain as a child
oBit off the tip of her tongue while chewing food
o3rd degree burns from kneeling on hot radiator
oCan't remember ever sneezing or coughing, no gag reflex or corneal reflex
(when puff of air lands on our eyes)
3.Physicians studied her: electrical shocks, immerse hands in hot water/cold water,
oNo changes in heart rate, blood pressure or breathing
4.Sever medical problems
oKnee, hips, spine (remain in one position too long) >> inflammation of joints
Neglect injuries >> infection
5.Died from age 29 from massive infections
Significance of Pain
6.Pain = symptom of chief concern to patients
oLeads them to seek medical attention
7.Pain often considered of secondary importance to MD
8.Patients fear pain in illness and treatment most
oFearing that they can't relieve suffering >> increased anxiety
oMost common reason for euthanasia
9.$4 billion is spent annually in Canada on over-the-counter pain medications
10.Pain is adaptive
oIncreases chances of survival
oTells us to avoid behavior the may hurt us
oForces us to rest and recover after an injury
11.Can be reflexive and unconscious
12.Learning mechanism
oEX = spanking children; shocking rats
13.Pain, example of operant conditioning
oLearning based on consequences
oPositive = add
oNegative = taking away
14.Reinforcement - consequences of behavior increases likelihood of behavior
in the future
o+ >> reward
o -- >> don't have to do a chore (removing negative stimulus)
15.Punishment - consequences decrease the likelihood of the behavior in the
o+ >> giving negative stimulus (ie. Spanking)

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o-- >> taking away something good (ie. Tv time)
People in Pain When?
16.Pain behaviors - behaviors that occur in response to pain
oFacial and audible expressions of distress
oDistortions in posture and gait
oNegative affect
oAvoidance of activity
17.Pain experience is subjective (psychological aspect)
oInfluenced by context it's experienced in
Beecher's example of soldiers vs civilians
25% wounded soldiers ask for morphine vs 80% of civilians
after surgery
Soldiers think of pain as more positive than civilian
Sports injury continue to play
SNS arousal diminishes pain sensitivity
Stress and psych distress aggravate experience of pain
Pain in the Lab
18.Method of cold-presser task
oSubmerge hand in cold water until they experience pain >> push a button
oIndicates they have reached pain threshold
19.Pain tolerance levels
oDuration of time person is willing to endure a stimulus beyond where it
began to hurt
oOR intensity of stimulus a person will endure beyond the point where it
began to hut
oCan't stand it anymore = level of pain tolerance
Pain Perception
20.Pain has a substantial cultural component
oNo ethnic of racial differences in ability to discrimiate painful stimuli
oBut members of some cultures report pain sooner (sensitivity) and react more
intensely (reactivity) to it than individuals of other cultures
oDifferences in cultural norms regarding expression of pain and maybe even
different pain mechanisms
21.US: pain tolerance Whites > Africans or Asians
22.Gender differences
oWomen = more sensitive (lower pain threshold)
More severe levels, more frequent, longer duration of pain
oMore likely to experience recurrent pain
Migraine, back, abdominal
oDifferences in feeling or reporting pain
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