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Chronic Pain, Psychological Factors in

  1. Dennis C. Turk,
  2. Hilary D. Wilson

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0177

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Turk, D. C. and Wilson, H. D. 2010. Chronic Pain, Psychological Factors in. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. University of Washington

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Psychology has long been a topic addressed in the etiology of chronic pain; however, the hypothesized role these factors play has varied greatly. Psychological factors were traditionally considered to account for pain that could not be attributed to any physiological abnormalities. Pain was viewed as a dichotomy: it was either of physiological origin (somatogenic) or due to psychological issues (psychogenic). Thus, pain severity that was not linearly related to the amount of pathological abnormality was considered psychogenic, or “all in the patient's head.”


  • catastrophizing;
  • classical conditioning;
  • operant conditioning;
  • social learning;
  • self-efficacy